tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN March 14, 2012 1:00pm-5:00pm EDT
said. our military plans for everything. that is what they do. but i was very clear during the libya situation that this was unique. we had a clear international mandate. there was unity the world on that. we were able to execute a plan in a short time frame that resulted in the a good outcome. each country is different. as david mentioned, with respect to syria, it is an extremely complicated situation. the best thing we can do right now is to make sure that the international community continues to unify around the fact that what the syrian regime is doing is and acceptable. it is contrary to every
international norm that we believe in. for us, it provides three take for us to continue to talk to kofi annan and the russians and others about why it is they need to stand up on behalf of people hurt and tong shel describe to them why they should join us in a coalition, that is the most important work we can do right now. there may be some immediate steps to make sure humanitarian aid is being provided in a robust wait. and to make sure that an opposition unifies a long principles that ultimately would provide a clear platform for the syrian people to be able to transition to a better form of government. but, when we see what is happening on television, you
know, our natural instinct is to act. one of the things that i think both of us have learned in every one of these crises, including libya, is that it is important for us to make for that -- make sure that we have thought through all our actions before we take those steps. that is not just important for us. that is important for the syrian people because ultimately, the with the international committee mobilizes itself, the signals we send, the degree to which we can facilitate a more peaceful transition or a soft landing, rather than a hard landing their results and civil war and potentially even more deaths, the people who are going to ultimately be most affected by those decisions are people in syria. all right? you very much, everybody. enjoy that day.
i will see some of you tonight. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> david cameron and his wife had a lunch this afternoon near for the stateck dinner tonight. we will cover that on c-span. at 6:15 p.m. eastern. next up, we go live to the national press club in washington.
patrick kennedy and minnesota republican jim branstad have co- sponsored a 2008 mental-health parity act which requires most insurers to provide better coverage for mental health care. they will speak momentarily. this just gets started, live on c-span. >> both men are focused on making sure that all provisions of the act are fully implemented under the administration's new health care law. both of these men retired from congress. they continue to work on national -- mental health issues. mr. kennedy is living in new jersey and as recently married and expecting a child. congratulations. [applause] >> thank you very much for that kind introduction. i did not know you were a democrat, kennedy. [laughter]
i want to thank all of you for being here today on behalf of the parity implementation coalition. a special thanks to all of the will of worked so hard. some of you since 1996 in the very beginning on the mental health and chemical addiction parity act. i want to point 1 -- out one individual. if i think everyone, we would be earlier -- be here all week. i want to point out one national hero who has helped so many people in so many ways. he is one of my best friends. one of america's best friend. max cleveland. thank you very much. [applause]
the reality of this effort is that we are not there yet. we are not there yet for millions of americans suffering the ravages of chemical addiction and mental illness. i remember when paul first got me involved in this effort in 1996. i remember him saying that we have a long hard road ahead of us because we are going to run it sends a very powerful interests. he reminded me -- that was thinking the other day of my first campaign in 1994 congress. on election night, i got a little bouquet of flowers saying, may you rest in peace. [laughter] that is the same reaction i had. i called the floor is the next morning and expressed --
florist and express my confusion. she checked her records and came back and said, if you think you are puzzled, how do you think the guys in the cemetery feel about a card saying congratulations on your new position -- [laughter] you have a long-target road to hoe. -- long, hard road ot hoe. thank you for being there nine and a, -- night and day, some of these since the very beginning. is about time we treat diseases of the brain the same as diseases of the body. [applause] no more discrimination against people with mental illness or addiction. no more higher deductibles.
known -- no more limited treatments decided by bureaucrats instead of health care providers. it is about time we have a final rule that end this discrimination for once and for all against people with diseases of the brain. we need to stop this discriminatory treatment. remember our field hearings back in 2007 when patrick and i went on the road to 14 states to drum up grassroots support? how many of you attended? thank you. thank you very much. we are back. we are back. [applause] our strategy worked then, and we are back for another round. the. to bill passed congress, largely as a result -- the parity bill pass congress, largely as a result of your support.
the change both. you educated members. he made it happen. you are going to do -- we are going to do the same. the parity bill passed the congress and was signed into law by president bush in 2008. this is 2012 and we still do not have a final rule. still do not have a final rule. so, we need to rekindling a torch to spark a final rul. discrimination against addiction and mental illness for once and for all. with members of the of parity implementation coalition claimi, we're launching the pats for parity to work. somebody suggested we call it the parity reunion tour, but we said we are no rock band.
we are just trying to fight for a worthy cause and get the ball over the goal line. this is going to be a nationwide tour say that strength and mental health and addiction treatment parity. i am pleased to announce today that the first confirmed hearing will be in my home state of minnesota, july 17, and st. paul at the minnesota recovery continued weak tentatively have three -- at the minnesota recovery. we still have to finalize three additional meetings. we are going to every corner of the country to mobilize the class. -- grass-roots once again, to prove that the people are more powerful than the insurance company lobbyists who are working overtime to kill parity. [applause]
friends, 54 million americans with mental disorders deserve nothing less. 26 million americans suffering from a deadly drug and alcohol addiction deserve nothing less. but, patrick and i cannot do it alone. we need you to help us. please, if you are not a member or active, please join the parity implementation coalition today. at 10 denver dissipate in our patriots for parity to were -- attend and participate in our patriots for parity tour. we need to work together to keep the equity act in the affordable care law. we still have a long-hard road to hoe. working together, i know in my heart and whatever norwegian intellect i have left that we can get the job done. thank you very, very much.
[applause] it is my pleasure to introduce my next speaker. he does not need in the introduction. we take any deduction. i'm going to say this about our next speaker. president kennedy -- if president kennedy were still alive and were he to write a sequel to his famous book, there is no question whatsoever that his nephew patrick kennedy would occupy a full chapter of that book. [applause] please welcome our profound courage, patrick kennedy. [applause] >> thank you, kathryn's husband.
my great friend, jim branstad. let me say this about your kind comments about being courageous. i was only able to do what i was able to do because i had my fellows help me. and you are chief amongst them. you have compassion. if there was a profile in compassion toward, jim would be the recipient of it. teaneck, to reset for welcoming us. i noticed you were born in rhode island. my congressional district. [laughter] to the reporter, know that your room to beat minnesota to the punch. we have many people from rhode
island. i guarantee you, with the governor's resort -- support, we will make rylan the first hearing -- rhode island the first hearing. the rivalry does not change. i want to say what an honor is to have a true inspiration for our country and for me personally, max cleveland here. i want to thank a good friend and former colleague for also being here. [applause] as was said, on october 3, 2008, president george w. bush signed into law the mental health parity and addiction equity act. it was named in honor of two senators, both of whom knew the personal toll of mental illness, one of whom did not live to see its effect.
the task falls on all of us. regulators, advocates, said a sense -- citizens, to complete this work, to cement in our statutes the rights of the mentally ill and to banish discrimination in health care wherever we find it. i know there is some concern in this room about our role here. that we are either speaking too much for the administration or too much for the advocacy community. i see both of our roles. we are champions for people who need help, who do not want them to wait a day longer than they have to to get the needed treatment. led by two women, we started down the path to parity. these two dynamic and terrific leaders have been forced --
forceful advocate for the mental health committee. their staffs and the board and help consumers services -- their staffs and the department of health and human services are turning this into strong regulation. they have an energetic and they have an empathetic. we thank them for their leadership. thank you for your great work. [applause] already, one-third of the affected employers have modified their benefits with a vast majority expanding mental health coverage. we are moving towards a system where insurance companies can no longer pose higher deductibles and premiums for any thing terms mental health. where a person is suffering from mental illness cannot be arbitrary and dismissed from a treatment facility where insurers must carefully evaluate and compare medical and surgical benefits they offer and provide anyone with mental health or substance abuse treatment up
the same benefit level as they would for medical or surgical. where mental health is considered also part of the essential health benefits for all americans. that is what we will talk about today. thanks to the efforts of many people who are in this room, we have begun to enshrine these rights into law. as we know, the current rules and regulations are written in wet cement, not stone. they are not fully fixed and this law has not been fully implemented. it will not be without strengthening regulations. clarity, transparency, and accountability are the areas we need to strengthen. for insurance companies, concerned with their bottom lines, unclear, undisclosed, and unaccountable to often means unheeded by the insurance system. we have made great progress, but
right now, we have it in from -- interim final rules instead of unalienable rights. as many of you know, these issues of mental health and dependency are personal fortune and died. the they are also personal for the hundred millions -- hundreds of millions of americans who suffer from neurological conditions and their personal to their family and friends because these are our fathers and mothers. these are our sisters and brothers. they are our sons and daughters with autism and they are our grandparents with alzheimer's. increasingly and tragically, they are also at work and brave men and women in uniform who have returned home never to find peace. these are soldiers afflicted with traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress. men and women who escaped the taliban or the iraqi insurgency only to the disabled by the
"invisible wounds of war" and held hostage by the stigma that surrounds their treatment. the signature wound of these warriors have made our veterans medical pow's. pentagon officials estimate that up to 33 -- 360,000 iraqi and afghanistan veterans who have suffered brain injuries and u.s. army vice chief of staff, the champion for those in the military, have suffered from those injuries. he once told me -- thank you for your service to our country. [applause] he told me, we are losing more soldiers to suicide into combat. staggering, but true. if we continue to view these
wounds as invisible, how will we ever prevent their painful an manifestations? stink about makes many of them feel like -- stigma makes them feel like they should set it up and shake it off. so many do not seek treatment for the of va because they are now subject to the private insurance market to. that is what brings us here today. over half of our returning soldiers, many whom are going to reserve, are going to get their treatment for the signature wound of a traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress, not for the va, but through their employer. provided there private employer stands up and ensures that they get the treatment they need that is medically necessary and does not discriminate against them just because their disease
occurs in the organ of the brain. that is why we are here today. to make mental health parity about trying to say to our very patriots in this country who have come home. it is the least we can do as americans to make sure they are not left behind on the battlefield. [applause] let us be clear. the work we undertake today is not merely about health care, veterans' care, economics, or politics. it is an issue of civil rights. when a single person is discriminated because of a particular organ in their body, that is a civil rights issue. when we withhold treatment simply because the melete involves the brain rather than the kidneys, the heart, lungs, that is a civil rights issue. almost 50 years ago, my uncle,
president kennedy, said at an earlier fight to "we are confronted with a moral issue. each is as old as scriptures and clear as the constitution. the heart of the question is whether we are going to treat everyone else the way we ourselves expect to be treated. whether americans are going to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities and whether they will be treated as their fellow americans. if one and brought to americans -- if one in four americans experience as a mental disease and only one in three seeks treatment, we have a problem." he would be content to change places and be content with the councils of patience in the way. who amongst us would expect a diagnosis of parkinson's or alzheimer's and be satisfied
with an isolated and fragmented approach to care? to amongst us would stand in the shoes of someone suffering from major depression and be silent? who amongst us would trade places with one of our american heroes who is suffering in silence and our country today? we cannot afford to let that happen. back in 2010, i join with my great friend in launching a 1-4 research, an initiative to unify and focus all brain research efforts. one mind pools public resources to bring together those researchers to bring together -- to share breakthroughs through a united mission where we unravel the mysteries of the mind together, not individually.
we are setting our sights high. we aim to cure all neurological disorders within 10 years and eliminate the discrimination that accompanies them. this is a bold task. that is why we turn to none other than a four-star general to lead our efforts. [applause] many of these health issues that are not associated with the mind have everything to do with the mind. i tease or eating, you're drinking, your stress which leads to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and at small. for cancer patience, diagnosed with depression, death rates are 40% higher. how long are we going to segregate mental-health from overall health? this is a civil rights issue as
real as 50 years ago when my uncle made a call on civil rights in this country, separate but equal was inherently unequal. we cannot tolerate separate standards where you go downhaul for your mental health and -- down the hall for your mental health treatment. let us banished the lingering discrimination. imagine a health care system where a check up from the neck up is as common as taking your blood pressure. it is as common as taking your temperature. imagine all the lies we can save -- wives we can save. every position recognizes of your mental health is just as important to your quality of life as your physical health, if not more.
whether you go to a physician with alcoholism or appendicitis, bipolar disorder or a broken bone, you will be cared for the same way, with compassion. . -- icians will be trained what a revelation that they will be trained in treating the whole person so we can correctly identified that a broken bone as a result of a drinking binge is as much a symptom as it is a stand-alone health issue. that is were the work goes on. we are ready to roll up our sleeves. we ask you here today to kick off a new set of parity hearings and we will wrap them up in a year from now at the john f. kennedy library to mark the 50th anniversary of president kennedy signing the community mental health services act. all of these hearings he will organize will build to that
momentum so that we can look back at the last 50 years, find out what we did wrong, and make sure we correct it before we implement title reigns -- final ranks and make these decisions again and perpetuate more misery on americans who are struggling for recovery. we are wanting to say, we deny insurance companies the right to deny us our right. we will take that message across the country. ultimately, as jim said, this is up to you. this is up to the advocates. frederick of -- for a big douglas -- frederick douglass said power never has conceded anything but demand and tell the mental-health community is willing to stand up, be counted, and demand equal treatment and care, we will never get to where we want to go. like the labor movement and the
civil rights movement, we are going to create the demand for sharing -- for everyone to be able to do the job they want to do and they are already doing. he is not good to happen with all of you. -- it is likely to happen without all of you. every time a person next to improve the lives of others, they sent forced a ripple of hope -- sent forth a ripple of hope. those create a current that can knock on the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. we can do this, not alone, but we can do it together. i have learned in recovery that half measures of the only nothing. we need to be in this all the way. with the committed audience icl there today, we will be successful in getting the job done. thank you very much. [applause]
>> q. ever speaking here today. now i know the part that every -- thank you for speaking here today. everyone has been waiting for our question and answer. the questions are not directed to either of you some of directed to either of you, so you can choose to the answers. the original bill was passed in the '90s, but the polls were of -- and googles were used. are other safeguards to prevent that in this one? >> it would be appropriate to hear from our wonderful director, pam. she has been working on just that and i know -- let me have our champion for this, pam say a few words about how important it is that we get the message across on mental health parity and how key all of you are in helping us so that we can solve these questions.
would you be good enough to come up and talk to us a little bit? let us give a round of applause. [applause] >> thank you both of you for your advocacy and compassion and commitment on this issue. i am not going to do a whole speech here, although i could do that if we had the time. i just want to say that the law we have been talking about here is just a start. it requires equal treatment, not the best or the most appropriate treatment. i think what we are talking about here is more than that. what we understand is no regulation is going to be as good as it can be unless we get the word out that it is there and can be used. we are committed to doing that. we have developed a
communications plan. we have webinars we have started to work with the targeted areas we want to get the word out to. we will build on or jump on the bandwagon of the patriots to work -- tour in the hopes of facilitating getting information out mostly to consumers who may have behavioral health issues and may be needing treatment for those issues. and for providers, frankly, who might be interested in providing that kind of care that to not know how their clients are going to get paid for. we want to focus some very targeted efforts. we were not given any money to do this. we have tried to identify very few resources to do it. we will lead an effort to do that as best we can. communications is an issue. that is one of the roles we are playing. we are also using this effort to understand that the law was
expanded into the health care law, aca, the affordable care act. that is as important if not more than an hour law standing alone. there are ways in which we are using all of healthcare reform and trying to make sure that mental-health and substance- abuse is in each one of the efforts that is going on in implementing the affordable care act. whether it is the quality issues or whether it is the prevention efforts in which we have tried to make sure that substance abuse and mental health issues are involved or whether it is essential health benefits -- in any one of those cases, we will make sure that mental health and substance abuse is included in net because parity is about more than just being equal.
it is about being appropriate and necessary to move the nation's behavioral health. given the time and the question, i will stop and let you know that there is more work we are doing and we will be happy to be partners in these field hearings and other issues as we move on. thank you. [applause] >> what states are doing the best job? >> rylan. -- rhode island. [laughter] rhode island is number one in the incident rate of mental illness and addiction. perhaps, that is because there is less stigma in rhode island. we have a lot of great providers in rhode island is so people do not have a tough time in inning and speaking -- seeking help, -- help.
you can look at it one way or the other way. either way, we intend to be part of the solution in coming up with a model but hopefully other states like minnesota can follow. [laughter] >> the honest answer to that question is that it is very -- we have some very powerful special interests. they are fighting parity. that is unfortunate. we are trying to do a better job of education. it is important to mention that we went -- right before we passed the bill, we had eight major insurance companies, major health plans nationally supporting the bill. they came up and testified. the first was way back in the
'90s, pelc -- kaiser permanente. i do not want to get into which are helping in which are not, but we need them how to understand that this is not only the right-wing to enact a parity, -- right thing to enact parity, but it is the best thing. for every dollar we spend in treatment for people who are suffering addiction or mental illness, we save $12. we say to of dollars in health- care costs -- we save $12 and health care costs and a social service costs. my friend mentions in not having to buy ritalin for their children for families that are dysfunctional and so forth. it we need to do a better job of educating, as well as enforcing the new law. >> have the fears of the insurance companies been lessened or increased? >> at the end of the day, we
need to work with the insurance community because at the end of the day, they are structuring the benefit plan. we need to be at the table when a structure that benefit plan. i want to invite the insurance companies to join us at least parity hearings around the country into develop that working relationship that is getting started because at the end of the day, we all need each other. we need to find a way out of this together. >> i would like to second that. we need to work in a collaborative way. you cannot continue to be -- it cannot continue to be us versus them. itt's to be a collaborative effort of cooperation. we need to find that common ground, which is sorely missing in this city. [laughter] >> how would you encourage advocates to influence the states regarding mental health? >> well, you know, if you go on the website and you talk to
people, it is important to get to know your local insurance commissioner in your state. in my state, a i was told that -- i was told that he hears from providers, but not advocates enough. what we are saying is as the advocate, we cannot leave the -- leave this up to the providers to fight for us. we cannot expect the administration to do this by themselves. it has to be up to us to stand up for our own and make sure that the right thing is done. i want to acknowledge someone who has been helping to do that, the assistant secretary of health. let us give her a great round of applause. [applause] >> i want to speak briefly
thatpoint. one of the really important things you can do at the state level is influence states in their selection of essential health benefits. the way we have laid out a lot, states have a twin set benchmarks between the small plants and larger plans. one of the things that makes possible is for states to include, if they choose, their existing mandates in the essential health package they choose. for the states that have already had a strong advocacy influence and have extensive mental health mandates in place, guaranteeing access to various services, with a brick advocacy, i think there is a possibility for them to choose a plan that includes those benefits as essential health benefits plans. >> thank you. >> how do you encourage employers to offer mental health benefits? >> we have shown many, many
employers and many, many insurance programs empirical data. we have studies to show the cost savings, both on a macro level in a micro level of treating people. the average un-treated alcoholic or addict increase health care costs that are 100% higher than patrick kennedy's and jim ramstad's or anybody else who is in recovery. think of that. the average person out there who is addicted, drugging and drinking still, has health care costs 100% higher than that treated alcoholic or a person suffering from a mental disorder. the cost the "wall street journal and" pointed out was $40,000 sucked out from the gdp. i could go on and gagne -- on and on here we show them weather is the california or the
minnesota study -- i could go on forever. there have been many studies corroborating what i am saying. in the end, this will save the insurance companies money. those of a company supporting parity learned that well. -- those eight companies supporting. he learned that well. >> do you think the anonymous contributors to the stigma and discrimination against? ? ts?dic >> i did not have a choice. i get a lot of grief from my fellows in recovery. at the same time, i am a u.s. citizen. one of the things that bill w. did is he testified in front of congress. it was about saving our fellows. one of the ways we save them is to advocate for parity.
to advocate for enough treatment. to advocate for reimbursement. that is a way i can do one giant 12-step called. advocate for a different system that will help millions. if we are not politically engaged, we are leaving this to someone else. if we could ever tap those 27 million people in long-term recovery in this country right now, to say they're willing to put their hand up and the voice of recovery, you change this overnight. that would be a big difference. [applause] >> have you met or talked with people who have been held by your legislation? -- helped by your legislation? >> yes, i have. families who have come to break bread with me and tell me of their happy experiences.
unfortunately, there are still more people every day who call me who are still suffering and to cannot access treatment. there are some very, very rewarding and enriching personal experiences that have been related to me directly. >> the u.s. government investing enough in mental health research? >> -- [laughter] >> that is a softball. when we do not treat this as a real illness, we do not respond it as the same we did with this emergency we would if you had cancer or aids or some other disease. the first thing we need to do is end of the stigma. stigma is what is keeping us from reaching our " potential --
our full potential. when we get that, we need to focus on how to spend our resources so we are not dividing up our effort and repeating it over and over again because we failed to share the science across these trade-related orders -- brain-related disorders. at the end of the day, prevention, prevention, prevention is the best answer. you do not need to go back to the lab to be able to tell a parent that is not ok for them to experience -- experiment with drugs and alcohol. the locker they do not use or abuse drugs and alcohol, the better chance they have all living a life free from addiction and dependency. we need to get that message across. [applause] >> how do you see the mental health parity act helping our soldiers received treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder? >> stigman, stigman, a stigma.
-- stigman, stigma, stigma. if you are a young soldier used to do whatever it takes to get the job done, you do not want to be told that you have a problem that is stigmatized where is treated as a moral issue and not a medical issue. let me tell you an interesting story. i rededicated the john f. kennedy special warfare center in number of years ago. the first chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said to me, we had the best mental health for green berets of any branch in the military. i said, you do not need to tell me that. why do they need mental health? they jump out of airplanes. they swim under water 42 miles without breathing. they come out of the beach, they speak five languages. they take out osama bin laden and their home by dinner time to read to their children. why do they need mental health?
he said, you mistake me. we do not look at mental health as a safety net -- we look at it as a force multiplier. a force multiplier. the military has figured out that if you help address some once preoccupations and issues, you help them make -- become a better fighter. how about all americans who could always be made better through self improvement? how about looking and mental health instead of taking care of with weak people -- making strong people even stronger. that is a message we need. [applause] >> whenever i think of that question, the point and body, i think of my friend who came back from a second or third duty and could not predict where duty and could not access treatment
through the va or insurance. he did not have insurance. he was found hanging by an electric cord in his basement. he is one of 18 a day according to 60 minutes -- "60 minutes." veterans coming back from iraq and afghanistan are taking their own lives. when the statistics that have been shared the of the military themselves show that one out of four veterans who have served more than two to worse is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and one of five chemical addictions. we have to do with treating these people. we have an obligation -- the highest obligation. it only makes good sense to do that -- to do the right thing.
me to address their treatment needs. -- we need to address their treatment needs. >> should there be limits on tours of duty? >> we are so blessed in this country. we have the best and brightest sign up to serve our nation. there are a lot more courageous than me. when they go overseas and what their life on the line for all of us. all i know is that we owe them a lot more than what they are getting when they come home. because, they may come home in body, but many of them not in mind. we cannot allow that. we need to be there for them in the smallest way, just like they were there for us, by keeping another terrorist attack. we cannot do enough for our veterans. [applause] >> some patients with illnesses
are having to testify to director some insurance companies to prove they need treatment. what advice do you have for them? >> as is evident by the gathering today, none of this will happen unless we continue to fight. that means we need to be vigilant. even, let us say two years from now when we get all of this done, we have to be vigilant. constantly. what we need to do is get people to feel comfortable standing up for their rights as consumers, now. they will have to keep. standing keep that is the way life is. -- they will have to keep standing up. that is the way life is. we need them to stay involved overtime. >> well, no person should be forced to testify or be examined by medical director to prove that he or she has an illness if an eating disorder has been
diagnosed by a physician. we are hopeful that the final rule will encompass eating disorders. tragically, the number-one killer of young women in america today. >> one of the barriers to successfully resolving the many. he complains it is the lack of final rule you mentioned earlier. what can we do to help secure final regulations? >> that is exactly what the parity tour is all about. get people at the grass-roots level, citizens, people who care, whose families are affected, who have a hard for those suffering from mental illness and addiction to make sure your member of congress, your senator, make sure they support the final rule and make
sure they make their thoughts known. it is not just enough to say we will support you and have you on the head and send you on your way. we have to make for that their influence is felt at the administrative level. the people who make the decisions. despite rule is in the hands of -- this final rule is in the hands of three secretaries. secretary geithner, secretary hilda sully's, and secretary sebelius. >> the use of electronic medical record is increasingly collecting -- connecting providers. a stigma providing mental health providers from for dissipating? >> we are talking about parity today. do you realize that we do not treat health care records for mental health clinics the same way as we would health care records for community health
care clinics or hospitals? parity is pervasive. we need to fight for equal reimbursement for medical records because you bet, it will make a difference in the delivery of care. not unless we invest in 90 the same way we would for a regular hospital. right now, under current law, you are prohibited from getting their reimbursement for medical record technology that you would if you had a physical health issue. that is where parity still fights us every step of the way. >> can you weigh in on the drug legalization controversy and you think legalization would increase drug abuse in america? >> i will take this -- a tough one and he gets a softball. [laughter] i have never talked, not once, in my 20 years in public
service -- never once heard from a chemical health professional or a teacher or a parent, for that matter, who favors legalization. i think the studies show which are the so-called entry-level drugs, marijuana is the number one entry level drug. people graduate to hard drugs from initial use of marijuana and addiction to marijuana. there are some people who still do not believe that marijuana is addictive. believe me, as one who went through treatment 30 years ago and three out of the eight members in my group were addicted to nothing but marijuana and in the 30 years of being a recovering person in the recovering community, i have met literally hundreds if not thousands of people whose
addiction is marijuana. no, i do not support legalization. i understand the argument. i do not agree with them. more important than me, who is no expert as far as the technical aspects are concerned of this issue, i think the input of people who deal with young people every day and that is teachers, a chemical health professionals, and certainly their parents. [applause] >> well, we are having legalize drugs, and that is alcohol. i wish we had the same attitude about alcohol use as we do about smoking. that has been legal, too. we look at smoking will whole different way after we change our attitudes about everybody smoking. we have a permissive environment that says is all right to drink
cart and especially when you are young. we know this has lifelong implications in terms of people's propensity to become lifelong problem drinkers and alcoholics. if they start young. we need to pass some morallity here. this is about irresponsibility -- if you know you have a problem, there is no excuse for you not to try to do something about it. it is not enough for people to hide behind a medical diagnosis that you are an addict, an alcoholic, depressed, and then not do anything about it. your diseases affecting your family and your friends. if you care about them, then you have an obligation to get treatment for yourself. the first question anybody ought to ask is, do i have a problem? if i decide i do, what will i do to get help? [applause]
>> why has the implementation of the act been so slow? >> that is a question i have asked a lot of people and i have gotten under different answers. i do not know. we have been very, very frustrated. i have been involved in a number of pieces of legislation many times. the token republican in a bipartisan bill, which i was always proud to join in on. for example, the prime bill in 1994, above -- in 1994. that at the prevention and treatment initiatives and emphasized that the demand -- emphasized the demand of the equation. unless we emphasize the demand side of the equation, we will never deal with the supply side. i will never forget traveling with clinton to mexico.
in my second term, his first term. anyway, we met with the president there. president clinton, and a small dinner there, there were five of us from congress on the delegation and about five ministers from mexico and two heads of state. i will never forget president clinton asking the other president, when will you deal with the flow of drugs coming through your country to the u.s.? it is killing our kids. it is damaging our family. he said, with unblinking eyelashes, looked at -- said, with all respect, until you americans deal with the demand side of the problem, we will never be able to do what the supply side. that is so true today. [applause] >> we are almost out of time. i have a couple of housekeeping matters to take care of. first of all, i would like to
remind you of our luncheon speakers. we have the founder of the cho pra foundation. the commissioner -- a commissioner of the irs. an executive director of the major league baseball players association. second, i by to present our speakers with our mug. for the last question, we only have a short amount of time. if you could briefly say -- if you could add one thing to the bill as it is, what would it be? >> your involvement, so that we can come up with the other follow-on things. i want to thank those who have been helpful to us. i want to thank all of you help us come this far. this will only happen when you and i and jim work together to
get the best possible outcome that will be shaped by your involvement with these parity hearings across the country. thank you for coming today. [applause] >> i come at too, want to thank all of you for being here today. it shows your level of commitment. we list the support of those of you have not been active in the coalition. we appreciate the hard work that all of you have done as members of the coalition and the treatment profession and the prevention groups and all of you who have been so helpful. some of you, as i said, from the very beginning in 1996. what would be the one thing i would want to add? the final rule. thank you. [applause] >> to live for coming today. i would also like to thank the
national press club staff, including the journalism institute for devising today's event. there is a reminder you can find more information on our website. if you want a copy of the program today, check out our website at www.press.org. thank you for joining us. we are returned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] > a reminder you can watch ts
to an hour library on c- span.org. u.s. senate leaders now are ending their standoff over president obama's judicial nominations. they're moving ahead with a small business bill. there on the brink of 17 votes in a row. but then at senate democratic leader harry reid and mitch mcconnell announced a deal to act on some of the nominations at is tough -- at issue. they will debate a small- business bill that both parties favor. they did not announce when, however. follow the senate on our companion network, c-span2. c-span 3 is life now and through the day on the economic summit of the fixing the u.s. economy. participants include federal and state officials, as low as economists and individuals from the financial sector.
it is live on c-span 3. on c-span2 tonight, time warner chairman jeffrey bewkes will be speaking about the evolution of media. that is at 7:55 p.m. eastern. british prime minister david cameron is in michigan -- is in the country. there will kick off a state dinner at 6:15 here on c-span. the president and first lady officially welcomed the prime minister and his wife to the white house this morning were the president said that the relations between the united states and united kingdom is the strongest it has ever been. this is about 35 minutes.
american tradition of bracketology. [laughter] march madness. he has learned to appreciate one of our great national pastimes. he has told me he has decided to install a hoop. [laughter] today we carry on another tradition. an official visit from one of our closest friends and dearest allies. from mr. cameron, mrs. cameron, members of the british delegation, on behalf of the american people it is my great honor to welcome you to the united states. [applause] david, samantha, on behalf of my shell -- on behalf of michelle
and myself we welcome you to the white house. we are delighted that you have made america your first official foreign trip. [laughter] it has now been 200 years since the british came here to the white house under somewhat different circumstances. [laughter] they made quite an impression. [laughter] they really lit up the place. [laughter] but we have moved on. and today, like some of the presidents and prime ministers before us, we meet to reaffirm one of the greatest alliances the world has ever known. this visit is also an opportunity to reciprocate the extraordinary and gracious
hospitality shown to us by her majesty, queen elisabeth, by david and samantha, and by the british people during our london -- during our visit to london last year. we are proud of her diamond jubilee celebrating 60 extraordinary years on the british throne. [laughter] -- [applause] it is remarkable to consider for decades we have seen nations rise and fall, wars fought, peace defended, the city's divided, walls come down, countries behind the iron curtain and then liberated. we have seen the demise of the cold war and the rise of threats transition from an industrial
revolution to an information age where new technologies and power our citizens and our adversaries like never before. our world has been transformed over and over. and it will be again. through the grand sweep of history, through all the twists and turns, there is one constant. the rock solid alliance between the united states and the united kingdom. [applause] the reason is simple. we stand together, we work together, we believe together, and we built together in good times and in bad because when we do, our nations are more secure. our people are more prosperous. the world is a safer, better, and more just place.
our alliance is essential. it is indispensable. for the security and prosperity that we seek not only for our own citizens, but for people around the world. that is why, as president, i have made strengthening this alliances and our alliances around the world one of my highest foreign-policy -- one of my highest foreign policies. because we have, i believe with david's agreement, this relationship between the united states and united kingdom is the strongest it has ever been. [applause] so, on the summit of this beautiful morning, with children from both nations in attendance -- [applause]
we reaffirm the enduring values in which our alliance is rooted. we believe that every person, if they are willing to work hard and played by the rules, it deserves a fair shot. deserves a chance to succeed. on these tough economic times, we stand united in our determination to create the jobs that gets people back to work and expanding trade that is both free and fair and fighting for a global economy where every nation plays by the same rules. we believe that our citizens should be able to live free from fear. so, like generations before us, we stand united against those who would terrorize our people or endanger the globe with the world's most dangerous weapons. we believe in universal rights of all people, so we stand united in our support for those
who seek to choose their leaders and forged their futures, including the brave citizens of the middle east and north africa who deserved the same god-given rights and freedoms as people everywhere. we believe in the inherent dignity of every human being. we will stand united in advancing the developments that lifts people and nations out of poverty. the vaccine that allows the child to live a long and healthy life. this is what we believe. this is who we are. this is what we do together. this is what we achieved every single day. this is the alliance we have renewed today, guided by the interest we share, grounded in the body set we cherish not just for our time, but for all time.
and finally, i would just know what this is not the first official visit of my president, it is one of the few where i have not had to pause for inflation. [laughter] we americans and the brits speak the same language most of the time. so let me just say, david, we're chopped to bits that you are here. [laughter] i am looking forward and confident that together, we will keep the relationship between our two countries -- [laughter] for the warmest of wellcome's from michelle and myself and from the american people, we are honored to have you here. [applause]
>> president obama, first lady, mr. vice president, members of both cabinets, guests of honor, ladies and gentleman, thank you for such an incredibly warm welcome. i have to say, barack, with that spectacular command of our shared language, with all of these union flags and with so many friends at home, you are really making me feel very at home here in washington. so, i am a little embarrassed that i stand here, to think that 200 years ago -- [laughter] my ancestors tried to burn this place down. [laughter] i can see you have the place a little better defended today. you clearly are not taking any risks with the brits this time. [laughter] thank you also for the lessons last night. i will leave america with some
new words. alley oop. brackets. fast breaks. and who knows, maybe that hoop will be installed after all. it was a great need -- a great evening. since that unfortunate episode 200 years ago, generations of british and american servicemen have fought together. our grandparents fought in the same campaign. my grandfather, wounded a few days after d-day, the greatest british and american operation in history, and yours, serving under general patton as the allies swept through france. whether it is through defeating the nazis, standing up to the soviets, defending the korean peninsula, for hunting down al qaeda in afghanistan, there can be no -- between our two nations defending our values and interests and the mutual
sacrifice made by our service men and women. let us once again pay tribute to their valor, their courage, and their dedication here in washington today. [applause] across the world and across the decades, we have been proud to serve with you. when the chips are down, britain and america at note that we can always count on each other because we are allies not just prepared to say the right thing, but to do the right thing and to do it in the right way. promoting our values, standing up for our ideals. the partnership between our countries, between our people is the most powerful partnership for progress the world has ever seen. that is why whenever an american president and a british prime minister get together, there is
a serious and important agenda to work through. today is no different. afghanistan, iran, the arab spring, the need for trade in the world economy. the biggest issues in the world -- that is our agenda today. but what makes our relationship so vigorous and so lasting? it is that it draws its strength from roots far deeper and broader than american -- and government. it is the meeting of kindred spirits. when the world's brightest minds want to generate the innovations we will make tomorrow more free and more fair, they look to our great universities like harvard and stanford. cambridge and oxford. but when the foundation's want to not just about charity, but to eliminate polio and other diseases so that no child in our world should die unnecessarily, they find partners across the
atlantic in the british aid agencies. when a great innovator wanted a partner to make the world wide web a reality, he turned to america. why? because he knew it was in america that he would find that same spirit of creativity, innovation, and risk taking that defines our unique approach to enterprise and to business. he is not alone. in 2010, transatlantic partnerships produced eight of in size.noble pricezes this creates an sustains around 1 million jobs each side of the atlantic. it provides a strong -- for bilateral trade. in fact, american investment in
the u.k. is eight times larger than china. u.k. investment in america is nearly 140 times that of china. so, yes, the world is changing at a faster rate than ever before. the ways we will influence events are changing with it, but one thing remains unchanged. the ceaseless back-and-forth between our two nations through shared endeavor. that is why, i believe, we can be sure that in 50 years times, an american president and the british prime minister will stand on this very spot just as we do now. they will stand here as we do for freedom and for enterprise. our two countries, the united states of liberty and enterprise. that is what i am so pleased to
>> tonight the british prime minister will attend a state dinner hosted by the president and first lady michelle obama tonight. we'll have live coverage on c- span at 6:15 eastern. at a news conference this afternoon, president obama said he and the british prime minister discussed immediate steps to make -- to get humanitarian aid to syria. they held a news conference this afternoon at the white house rose garden followed by bilateral meetings on a wide range of issues as part of the official visit to washington. the news coverage is about 40 minutes. >> accompanied by the prime minister of the northern kingdom
and ireland. >> good afternoon, everyone. please have a seat. >> again, it is a great honor to welcome my friend and partner, prime minister david cameron, to the white house for this official visit. another was a lot of focus on last night's game. some of us how it came about. i want to set the record straight. during my visit to london last year, david arranged for us to place some local students table tennis. as they would say in britain, we got thrashed. i thought it would be better if we just watched. that said, i am still trying to get david to fill out his bracket. we just finished a very good discussion. it is a reminder why i value david's leadership and partnership so much. i appreciate how the alliance between our country is a foundation not only for the security of our two nations, but for international security as well.
through rapid change, the leadership of the united states and united kingdom is more important than ever. we feel the future we seek is only possible if the rights and responsibilities of nations are upheld. that is a cause we advance today. at a time when too many of our people are still out of work, we agree that we have to stay focused on getting people back to worked even as both our countries make difficult choices to put our house is back in order. we have the largest investment relationship in the world. we have instructed our team to explore ways to increase investment. i appreciate david's investment on the fiscal situation in the eurozone where both our countries, our economies, our
businesses are deeply connected. we move on to discuss afghanistan where we are the two largest contributors and forces to the international mission and where our forces continue to make extraordinary sacrifices. the tragic events of recent days is a reminder that this is a very difficult mission. obviously, we both have lost a number of extraordinary young men and women. what is undeniable, though, and what we cannot forget, is that our forces are making very real progress, dismantling al qaeda, and making the taliban momentum slowed down so they can take the lead and come home. that transition is already underway. about half of all afghans live in areas where security forces are taking responsibility. today, the prime minister and i reaffirmed the transition that we agreed to with our coalition partners in lisbon. specifically, in the upcoming
nato summit in my hometown in chicago. this includes shifting to 2013 and afghans taking full responsibility for security in 2014. we're going to complete this mission. we're going to do it responsibly. nato will maintain an enduring commitment so that afghanistan does not become a haven for al qaeda to attack our countries. we also discuss the continuing threat by iran to not meet its obligations. we are fully united. we're determined to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. we believe there is still time and space to pursue a diplomatic solution. we will work closely with our partners. at the same time, we will keep up the pressure with the strongest u.s. sanctions to date and the european union in preparing to impose an embargo on oil. they must understand they cannot escape or evade the
choice before it. meet international obligations or face consequences. we have reaffirmed our commitment to support the democratic transitions under way in the middle east and africa. i want to commend david personally for the leadership role he has played in mobilizing international support for the transition in libya. we also discussed the horrific violence that the assad regime imposes on the people of syria. we've agreed to keep increasing the pressure on the regime. mobilize the international community. provide sanctions. cutting the urging's revenues. isolating politically, diplomatically, and economically. just as the regime and security forces continue to suffer, the opposition is growing stronger.
i will say it again. assad will leave power. it is not a question of if, but when. to prepare for that day, we will support the legitimate aspirations of the syrian people. more broadly, we have committed ourselves, our leadership to the goal of global development. along with our international partners, we have saved countless lives from the famine in the horn of africa. david, you have done an outstanding job in bringing the international community to somalia. at the same time, we are renewing our commitment for preventable deaths of children and the beginning of the end of aids. let me say, as a tribute to david's leadership, the u.k. will be playing a leading role in the global partnership upon
which human rights and development depend. finally, i am very pleased that we are bringing our two militaries, the backbone of our allies, even closer. i can announce that next month we intend to start implementing our long-awaited defense trade treaty with the uk. this will put advanced technologies in the hands of our troops and it will mean more jobs for workers in both our countries. we're moving ahead with our joint initiative to care for men and women in uniform. for decades, our troops have stood together on the battlefield. now we're working together for them when they come home. partnership is to help our wounded warriors recover and to support our remarkable military families. so, david, thank you as always for being an outstanding ally, partner, and friend. as i said this morning, because of our efforts, our allies is as strong as it has ever been.
michelle and i are very much looking forward to hosting u.s. cement at tonight's state dinner. i look forward, as well, to welcoming you to camp david. david, welcome. thank you. >> well, thank you very much for that, barack. thank you for last month's sporting event. i thought there was a link between that and table tennis. i remember it well. i know america does not like being on the losing side so i'm trying to make up to you with a gift of a table tennis table. >> which like to play this afternoon? >> i certainly need practice. one day i'll get back at you with a cricket match and i will explain the terminology.
it was great our teams joined those talks as well. barack, thank you. there are some countries whose allies are a matter of convenience. ours is a matter of conviction. we're united for freedom and enterprise, working together day in and day out to defend those values and devote our shared interests. that has been the fundamental purpose of this visit. we have made progress on efforts in four vital areas -- afghanistan, economic growth -- first, afghanistan. recent days reminded us just how difficult our mission is and how high the cost of this war has been for britain, america, and afghans themselves. britain has fought along america every day since the start. we have 9500 men and women still serving there.
more than 400 have given their lives. today, again, we commemorate each and every one of them. we will not give up on this mission because afghanistan must never again be a safe haven for al qaeda to launch attacks. we will not build a perfect afghanistan, but let us be clear. we are making more tangible progress with more markets open, more health centers, more children going to school, more people being able to maintain a basic standard of living and security. we can be sure that they're capable of their own security without the need of large numbers of foreign troops. we're in the final phase. that means completing the training of afghan forces.
they can maintain the security themselves. that is well underway. next year, the president said, in 2013, this includes shifting to a support role as afghans to take the lead. this is an advance of afghan forces taking full responsibility for security in 2014. as we have always said, we will not be in a combat role after 2014. at the same time, we back the president in working towards a political settlement. second, the united nations security council on libya. we believe we must maintain our support for the people of the arab world as they seek a better future. let me just say in response to it you said, i am very proud of the action that britain and france and other stock. let us be clear. none of that would have been possible without the overwhelming support and force that the united states provided in the early stages of that campaign. you did exactly to promised he would do to make that intervention possible and give that country a chance of prosperity and stability and some chance of democracy. in syria we're working to get humanitarian aid.
at the same time, we must properly document the evidence so that those guilty of crimes can be held to account, no matter how long it takes. above all, we must do everything we can to achieve a political transition that will stop the killing. we must maintain the strongest pressure on all those who are resisting change and all costs. but we are ready to work with russia and china for the same goal, including a new united nations security council resolution. which should be clear. what we want is the quickest way to stop the killing. that is through transition, rather than revolution or civil war. if it continues, revolution or civil war is the inevitable consequence. third, we have discussed iran's
nuclear program. the president's tough, reasonable approach has united the world behind unprecedented sanctions against iran. britain has played a leading role in helping to induce an embargo. this is increasing pressure on the regime. the regime has to meet its international obligations. if it refuses to do so, then britain and america along with our international partners will continue to increase the political and economic pressure to achieve a peaceful outcome. the president and i have said, nothing is off the table.
a fourth, growth. both britain and america are dealing with massive debts and deficits. the measures we take in our economies reflect different national circumstances, but we share the same goals. delivering significant deficit reduction over the immediate term and stimulate growth. the eu and the u.s. together account for more than half of all global trade. foreign direct investment between britain and america is the largest in the world. it creates and sustains about 1 million jobs. it provides a strong foundation for bilateral trade. the deepening trade and investment between us is crucial. barack and i have agreed to prioritize work on transatlantic trade and investment flow. we have had some very important discussions this morning. i'm looking forward to our talks at the g8 and nato summit.
as barack has said, the relationship between the u.k. and america is the strongest it has ever been. together, i am confident that we can help secure the future of our nations. thank you. >> thank you, david. we have questions from each respective press corps. we will start with npr. >> thank you, mr. president. given the extraordinarily difficult circumstances in afghanistan in the last few weeks, i wonder what mr. coffin said two years from now to leave it will be better than it is today. and i wonder if you can talk about the pace of withdrawal. whether you see something more gradual or speedier. and mr. prime minister, you and the president take different approaches to economic growth.
you have more austerity measures. the president focuses more on stimulus measures. i wonder why you think your approach will create more jobs than the president's. >> first of all, on the afghanistan, i think both david and i understand how difficult this mission is because we have met with families whose sons or daughters or husbands or wives made the ultimate sacrifice. we visit our wounded warriors. we understand the sacrifices they have made their. as i indicated, we have made progress. we are seeing an afghan security force that is getting stronger and more robust and more capable of operating on its own. our goal, said in lisbon, is to make sure that over the next two years, that afghan security force continues to improve. it will be prepared to provide for that country's security when we leave. we also think it is important that there is a political aspect to this.
that all the various factions inside afghanistan recognize it is time to end a 30 years of war. the president there has committed to a political reconciliation process. we are doing what we can to help. ultimately, it will be up to the afghans to work together toward peace. we cannot be nice about the difficulties that are involved in getting there. if we maintain a steady, responsible transition process, which is what we have designed, then i am confident that we can put afghans in a position where they can deal with their own security. and we are also underscoring
what we anticipate to be a strategic partnership before we get to chicago that the united states, along with other countries, will sustain a relationship with afghanistan. we will not have combat troops there, but we will be working with them both to ensure their security and to assure their economy improves. there will be multiple challenges along the way. in terms of pace, i do not anticipate, at this stage, that we will be making any sudden, additional changes to the plan that we currently have. we have already taken now 10,000 of our troops. we are slated to drawdown an additional 23,000 by this summer. there'll be a robust coalition presence inside afghanistan during this fighting season to make sure that the taliban understand it will not be able to regain momentum. in conjunction with all of our allies, we will continue to look at how we affect with this transition that does not result
in a steep cliff at the end of 2014, but rather is a gradual pace that accommodates the developing capacities of the afghan national security forces. although you asked this to david, i want to make sure that i comment quickly on the economic issues. we have been asked this for years. the united states and britain are two different economies in two different positions. their banking sector was much larger than ours. their capacity to sustain debt was different than ours. as a consequence, each of us will be taking different strategies.
>> that we are both confident -- health and well positioned to succeed. >> i agree with that. there are differences. hot on have to take a different path. britain is just taking measures to reduce its deficit. before coming here, we took a series of steps. we have cut corporation tax in our country to we are investing in apprentice ship. -- apprenticeship back. we're both try to head in the same direction of growth.
if you look at the u.s. plans for reducing the deficit over coming years, it is steeper than what we're doing in the uk. different starting points. but the same destination. and a share of understanding. i have joey jones from sky news. >> can i ask you both to get any information this afternoon? and on the general, why do you think it is that people feel you talk a good game, but they do not buy it? why is it that the british and american people look for a situation that they think is a mess. they see terrible sacrifice. they see two men who are unable to impose their will. they're not persuaded by your argument.
paul happened, a very early details are still coming through. investigating exactly what is happening. etterthe security of our people, our troops, the security of both our nations forces is a priority. be done in the coming days to keep them safer, then no doubt, we will do them. on the border issue of afghanistan -- on the broader issue of afghanistan, if you compare where we are today with years ago, the situation is considerably improved. additional u.k. to sweep within has a transformative a fact. the level of insurgent attacks are down. the level of security is up. transitioned over to afghan lead control.
the markets are open. you're able to take part in economic activity which simply cojones was not possible when i first it have to overcome. what is happening in afghanistan today is quite different than the situation we had years ago. do i think we get to the end of 2014 where we have a larger afghanistan army which are on track and that with the afghan government, they can take care of their own security in a way that does not require large numbers of foreign troops and that country is not a threat in the wait was in the past in terms of terrorism? that. the sacrifices have been great. we have to remind ourselves and everybody why we are there. what we are doing. we have to go back and remember that the vast majority of terrorist that were affected people in the u.k. or the u.s.
came out of that country and that region. that is why we went in there. that is why we're there today. it is not some selfish, long- term strategic effort. it is simply that we want afghanistan to look over its own security with its own security forces so that we are safe at home. that is the message we keep explain to people. what we're trying to do by 2014 is achievable and undoable. >> i concur with everything david said. don't think i would add, you asked why the poll numbers indicate people are interested and ending the war in afghanistan, it is because we have been there for 10 years. people get weary. they no friends and neighbors who have lost loved ones as a consequence of war. no one wants war. anybody who answers a poll question about war saying enthusiastically that we what
were probably has not beenbut, as david said, i think the vast majority of the american people and british understand why we went there. there is a reason why al qaeda is on its heels and has been decimated. there is a reason why osama bin laden and his lieutenants are not in a position to be able to execute plots against the united states or great britain. there's a reason why. it is because the space has shrunk. the capacity to operate has greatly diminished. as david indicated, this is hard work. when i came into office, there
had been adrift in the afghan strategy. partly because we had spent a lot time focusing on iraq instead. in the last few years, we have refocused attention on getting afghanistan right. my preference would have been that we started some of that earlier, but that is not the card we were dealt. we're now in a position to make progress. i believe we will be able to achieve our objectives in 2014. >> thank you, mr. president, mr. prime minister. mr. president, switching to iran. >> can i just point out that somehow he gets to ask the question on behalf of the u.s. press corps -- were you upset about that? what is going on with that? c'mon. it is a special relationship.
>> on iran, to believe it represents a last chance for the country to avert a military action? and prime minister, on syria, how are you approaching the russians to get them on board for a security council resolution? and do you believe the president will be tried as a war criminal? >> as david said, we have employed the toughest sanctions on iran. we have mobilized the international community greater we have ever seen. those sanctions are going to begin to bite even harder this summer. we are seeing a significant effects on the iranian economy. they understand the seriousness in which we take this issue. they understand there are consequences to them continuing
to reject the international community. i have sent a message very directly to them publicly that they need to seize this opportunity of negotiations to avert even worse consequences for iran in the future. do i have a guarantee that iran will walk through the store that we're offering them? no. in the past, there has been a tendency for iran in these negotiations to delay, to stall, to do a lot of talking but not actually moved the ball forward. i think they should understand that because the international community has applied some sanctions, because we have
employed so many of the options that are available to us to persuade iran to take a different course that the window for solving this issue diplomatically is shrinking. and, as i said in a speech just a couple of weeks ago, i am determined not simply to contain iran that is in possession of a nuclear weapon, i am determined to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. in part, because of reasons that david mentioned. it would trigger a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous part of the world. it would raise non-proliferation issues that would have a significant risk to our national security interests. it would embolden terrace in the region who might believe they could act with more impunity if there were operating under the protection of iran.
this is not an issue that simply in one country's interest or two countries interest. this is important to the entire international community. we will do everything we can to resolve this diplomatically. but ultimately, we have to have somebody on the other side of the table. i hope the iranian regime understands that. this is their best bet for resolving this in a way that allows iran to join and prosper and to feel secure themselves. >> thank you. on syria, when you see what is happening in homes and elsewhere, i think we need to appeal to people's humanity to stop the slaughter to get aid and assistance to those with an affected. and to ratchet up the pressure on this bridging.
in the case of russia, i think we should appeal to their own interests. it is not in their interest to of this bloody, broken, brutal regime nightly on the television screens. the people in syria often felt that the russians were their friends. many in the west there were morenow they see people in the west wanting to help them. raising their issues, calling for the world to help them. we to make sure russia helpsit will take a lot of hard work. i think it is in russia's interest that we deal with this. what is being done in homes. i have spoken personally to one of the photographers who was stuck there when he got out to the u.k. what he witnessed, what he saw was simply appalling and should not be allowed to stand in our world. that is why we send people to the turkish border to document these crimes and write down what has been done. so that no matter how long it takes, people should always has
a long reach and a long memory. tom from itm. >> mr. president, it is great you agreed to learn about cricket. it is going to be a long trip. [laughter] on a serious subject, syria. the city wants assad to go. you wanted gaddafi to go for a long time, but he did not. have you discussed a no fly zone? have you discussed how you might implement it? have you discussed any of those issues? >> what i would say is that our
people are incredibly close together on this issue. the focus right now is trying to achieve transition, not trying to foment revolution. we think the fastest way to end the killing, which is what we want to see, is for assad to go. the way to bring that about is to provide diplomatic pressure. that is where our focus is. of course, as i put it, push the system, asked the difficult questions, where the other options? it is right we do that. theirey're not without difficulties and complications, the focus is transition and all the things we can do to bring pressure to bear. that has been the focus. >> i think everything that david said. our military plans for everything. that is what they do.
but i was very clear during the libya situation that this was unique. we had a clear international mandate. there was unity around the world on that. each country as different, as it does mentioned, with respect to syria. it is a complicated situation. the best thing we can do right now is make sure the international community continues to unify around the fact that what the siri emerging is doing -- syrian regime is doing is unacceptable. it is contrary to every international norm that we believe in. and, for us, it provides a
strong support to kofi annan to talk to others about why they need to stand up on behalf of people who are being shelled mercilessly and to describe to them why it is in their net -- interest to join us in an international coalition. that is the most important thing we can do right now. there may be some immediate steps that we have discussed just to make sure that humanitarian aid is being provided in a robust way and to make sure that an opposition unifies along principles but clearately will provide a platform for the syrian people to be able to transition to a better form of government. but, you know, we see what is happening on television. our natural intrastate -- instinct is to act. one of the things that i think both of us have learned in every
one of these crises, including libya, is that it is important for us to make her that we have -- make sure we have thought through all of our actions before we take those steps. and that is not just important for us. it is important for the syrian people because ultimately, the way the international committee mobilizes itself, the signals we send, the degree to which we can facilitate a more peaceful transition or a soft landing, rather than a hard landing the results and civil war and more deaths, is -- the people who will be most affected by those decisions are people in syria. all right? you very much, everybody. enjoy that day. see some of you tonight. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
>> as part of the visit, the white house announced the number of agreements bilateral agreements on issues such as defense -- defense in cyberspace. the prime minister will be back for the official state dinner at the white house. we will have that live coverage beginning at 615 eastern p.m. here on c-span. all day long on c-span3, we have been bringing you some of looking at fixing the u.s. economy hosted by the atlantic magazine. they have been hearing from federal and state officials, economists, and more. it is going on on c-span3. tonight on, we did tonight on c- span2 we hear about the digital revolution of media life before 8:00 eastern. >> if there is anything that concerns the american family today, it is this -- our government has not caught up
american family life. families have changed, so why can washington? moms are working. 65% of mothers are working. part-time, full-time, all the time. keeping the family together. making ends meet. making america more prosperous. working mothers need affordable day care and the pay they deserve. too often, they cannot get either. >> this saturday, more a mikulski will become the longest serving -- barbara will surpass the record held by edith rodgers who served in the house from 1925 to 1960. watch her speeches from the senate floor and other c-span appearances all archive and searchable on line at the c-span video library.
leon panetta in afghanistan today as his -- in afghanistan today. as his plane was landing, a truck crash. spokesmen say no one in his party was hurt. the pickup truck raced at a speeding crashed into a ditch near the ramp where the secretary's plane was going to stop at a british air field in southern afghanistan. the driver was treated for burns. on capitol hill today, after an activist george clooney described a humanitarian crisis in southern sudan before the senate foreign relations committee. he described bombing raids by the sudanese government in the mountains targeting civilian populations. just before his testimony, the committee heard from another who warned of starvation in a broker if humanitarian assistance is not allowed into conflicts in the area.
despite the developments, the ambassador says the leaders of sudan and south sudan have recently agreed in principle to new talks on a range of critical issues. the hearings it -- a hearing is two hours and 50 minutes. >> members of the press, please. this hearing will come to order. q i very much, everybody.
-- thank you very much, everybody. i appreciate it. the foot -- thank you. mr. ambassador, we are delighted to welcome you here today. one of the privileges and responsibilities of our committee is to shine attention on important issues when they are not part of the daily drumbeat of the news cycle. we all remember the famous moment in charlie wilson's war, when having achieved the objective of driving the soviets out of afghanistan, charlie wilson is stunned to see how quickly his colleagues have moved their attention elsewhere, despite, as wilson said, "the ball keeps on bouncing." we know what came next. tragically, too many policy
makers only return their attention to afghanistan after 9/11. i believe our committee would fail the test of history if we allowed attention today to drift from the critical situation in sudan and south sudan. i have the privilege of being in sudan a number of times over the course of the last few years, and particularly, for the referendum. i saw the expressions of hope for the future and watched the difficult birth of a new nation. i was privileged to be there with ambassador lyman, with george clooney, and john prendergast. we would do well to remember that you can have a vote to have a new beginning for a nation or for any number of things, but you can lose the future when the tough choices that follow are denied, when they are deferred, or when collective attention is somehow diverted.
that's why at a time when the world faces a lot of competing crises, we need to wrestle with and understand what steps the united states and our partners should take to help sudan and south sudan resolve the complex challenge before them. make no mistake. it is the leaders in khartoum and juba who must choose between a future of conflict and poverty, or a future of security and prosperity. we must not abdicate the important role the united states can take. there are some signs that are cautiously encouraging. on january 9, president bashir made the right choice in
allowing the south's referendum. on july 9, he made the right choice in recognizing its outcome, and even i am traveling there to welcome it. yesterday, he announced he would travel to juba for the first time since independence in order to meet the president. for every step forward, there has always been a step backwards with patterns of violence and repression of sudan's passed. in the last year, bashir has waged war on his own people. he has arrested student protesters. he has rejected viable solutions to outstanding issues in favor of aerial bombardment. the past has again become prologue. for its part, south sudan has established itself as a new nation. the president has named a
diverse cabinet and leaders in juba put forward serious proposals. the country has also experienced wrenching ethnic violence. there are allegations that it has supported proxy fighting in the north. in the act that may be justified, but may also be self- defeating, it has cut off the flow of oil. for all these struggles, we cannot devalue the progress that we have seen. peacefully creating a new state was an accomplishment of historic magnitude. in abyei, peacekeepers have helped to bring a critical measure of stability. it has to be said that a came after an enormous amount of the movement of people in the killing of people and really the cleaning out of the whole population in that area. "the new york times" recently titled an article, "hope for
darfur." i would ask you, when was last time you saw "hope" and "darfur" in the same sentence? the sudanese government and the liberation and justice movement signed a peace agreement last year. i look forward to hearing today whether these steps, if implemented and supported, could in fact become the foundation for a more lasting resolution in darfur. at a time when there are those who want to cut the international affairs budget, i want to point to sudan and south sudan as examples of the power of diplomatic engagement. the cpa was signed because of diplomatic engagement. the birth of a new nation took place because of careful, sustained diplomatic engagement. we can and must continue to put our shoulder to this wheel, even as we of knowledge the fate of these countries lies with their people and their leaders.
sudan must escape its fatal cycle of conflict, not as some next chapter in the arab awakening, but because it's the only way to forge a viable political and economic future for its people. the bombing and humanitarian blockade in blue nile has to stop. south sudan has the opportunity to avoid the corruption that has too often plague oil-rich countries. it has the opportunity to create an inclusive government that encourages ethnic diversity. last december, had the privilege of standing with president kiir here in washington. at that conference, he spoke eloquently about the long road to freedom. i know that journey came at a tremendous sacrifice and blood, sweat, and tears. a long road to freedom. it was never intended to be a
track to perpetual conflict and poverty and violence. it was always a journey to hope and prosperity. that journey continues. two fragile states emerged on july 9. we are all here today because it's in the vested interest of the international community that those two countries become partners in political and economic stability, not volatile adversaries in an already troubled region. we are also cognizant that this region extends south to the lord's resistance army, somalia, and many other dangerous players, all of which could create confirmation that could even eclipse the longest war which was the longest war in sudan. we're privileged to be joined by the president's special envoy to sudan, ambassador princeton
lyman. we know you are just back from ethiopia, mr. ambassador. believe me, for all the members of this committee and for all of us, we thank you for all your tireless service and your efforts. we also welcome nancy lindborg from usaid. i also want to welcome our first u.s. ambassador to south sudan, susan page, who is in the audience today, as well as the senior adviser for darfur, ambassador smith. on our second panel, george clooney and john prendergast will join us. i want to thank both of them. i was there with them last year. i saw the focus and attention that their efforts have brought
to this issue. they represent the satellite sentinel project, which has given us a window in to events in blue nile and elsewhere. they are just back today. i am pleased they were able to get here. i know they will be talking with secretary clinton and president obama and others. i think today we will have a good opportunity to really get some insights. we welcome it. on a note of sadness, as many of you know, congressman don
payne passed away last week. he was a tireless advocate for the people of sudan and south sudan. his funeral service is taking place today. this morning, our committee remember sam for his dedication to the cause of peace. senator lugar. >> thank you, mr. chairman. by join you in welcoming our distinguished witnesses. we look forward to their testimony. we appreciate their good counsel. i join you in a tribute to don payne, who has worked with us on this committee and in the house and has been such a champion in africa. the foreign relations committee has been very well informed about sudan and now south sudan. unfortunately, due to the amount of genocide and other crimes against humanity, that the tribal conflicts, and now
border clashes. the extreme violence and deprivation that characterized much of that conflict has recently been brought home to millions in this country through the viral youtube video that the picks of the cruelty inflicted by joseph kony and the lord's resistance army. the impact of the bloody fighting in sudan and south sudan has been brought, and another way. the comprehensive peace agreement, signed in 2005, finally achieve the separation of south sudan from the north last july. it was hoped that the petroleum wealth that they share would be deemed too precious for either side to forgo. instead, oil exports have stopped, putting upward pressures on oil prices globally, even though the united states no oil from sudan,
oil is traded on the global market. any major loss of supply affects all prices and the crude america imports and they buy at the pumps. that's why i've stressed the importance of improving transparency and governance in oil-rich countries. stability in oil-rich regions leads to stability in gas prices here. i have appreciated the leadership of senator cardin in that effort. events in faraway lands can affect to the u.s. security situation. besides influencing the cost of fuel that feeds our homes and cars are vehicles, there are conflicts in places like sudan, somalia, or the arabian gulf can place strains on our humanitarian resources and require us to maintain and civilian capacity is to respond to crises. the administration should
redouble its diplomatic efforts with the international community, including the african union and the arab league, to help bring about a stable and productive south sudan, and a more responsible republic of sudan. the most egregious violence and violation of international law, again, emanate from khartoum, as the al-bashir regime engages in crimes against humanity, including starvation as a method of war. i expect our witnesses today will describe the humanitarian and human rights atrocities that have occurred since the two countries separated in july. i am particularly interested in learning about the displacement of more than 120,000 people from the nuba mountains of southern kordofan and the blue nile
state. i am also concerned about the genocide of dozens of violent conflicts that have erupted in south sudan. this is a country where people fought for years to be free. we had hoped that independence would lead them to set aside differences. the united states has played an important but carefully defined role, which must continue. from senator danforth's efforts to secretary powell efforts to secretary clinton's recent engagement at the u.n. thanks primarily to the actions of the government in khartoum. the united states should work to galvanize an international response in conjunction with the arab league and the african
union to preclude further catastrophe. this means leveraging our diplomatic -- our diplomacy to press china, sudan's major oil customer, to live up to its responsibility as a world power. i look forward to the testimony. >> thank you very much, senator lugar. mr. ambassador, we will lead off with you. i do need to announce -- unfortunately, we just got word that there may be as many as three votes in the senate at about 11:30. we may have to have a small hiatus and then recess and then
come back. if that happens, happens. we will try to proceed. mr. ambassador. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for all your leadership. senator lugar, a great pleasure to see you. for all the members of the committee, thank you very much for the opportunity. i do ask that the full written testimony be made part of the record. >> without objection, it will be. >> i want to join you in recognizing the passing of don payne. we will miss him very much. i want to talk about several aspects of the situation in sudan and south sudan, which you and senator lugar have mentioned. the relations between the two are deteriorated. the continuing violence in
southern kordofan and blue nile is continuing. both countries are struggling with internal challenges, to which you referred, senator lugar. turning to the crisis in southern kordofan and blue nile, since last june, this conflict has taken place and it has created an enormous humanitarian emergency, as well as a serious political problem for sudan and for the relations between the two. you will hear more about the details of the humanitarian crisis from the second panel. mr. clooney and mr. prendergast are just back from that area.
let me talk about what we have been doing in the efforts to control this situation. from the beginning, we have said that there is no military solution to this problem. it has arisen from political issues that were not resolved in the final stages of a comprehensive peace agreement. it will not be settled militarily. the two sides must return to the negotiating table. our immediate concern is with the humanitarian crisis. nancy will talk to the details of how many people have been displaced and how serious the crisis is.
since last october, we have been saying to the government in khartoum that this crisis is coming, that you could see that by the nature of the war, the bombing of civilian areas, and all the things that have been taking place there that a major humanitarian crisis was going to occur in this area. we said that the government of sudan must allow international humanitarian access. and that the world cannot stand by and certainly the united states could not stand by and watch such a crisis unfold if the government did not take action. recently, and this refers to something that senator lugar mentioned, a proposal to the government from the united nations, the league of arab states, and the african union to carry out an international humanitarian program. members of the committee, i can
say that since last october, we have contacted virtually every country in the world who would have any influence on khartoum to bring pressure to the government of sudan to allow such a program. we were delighted when the league of arab states, along with the african union, and the u.n. joined in this. we had a unanimous resolution of the u.n. security council. china, russia, and all the rest calling for immediate humanitarian access. we have not received a reply yet from the government. we have some hopeful signs about their reaction to that proposal. we have not yet received approval. should they approved it, action must be taken very quickly. we have a very narrow window before the rains come and make all the roads in passable. if humanitarian assistance is going to come to those areas, it has to come soon. if a program is not carried out, we have ways for the u.s. to provide indirect support to the sudanese to reach the most vulnerable people, but it is not the most efficient way.
the most efficient way is for the international access that has been proposed to the government. i would like to turn to some recent events, gentlemen, that have occurred since we submitted the written testimony. in the written testimony, i described the relationships that had been deteriorating between sudan and south sudan. the conflict in kordofan and blue nile was contributing to that. the shutdown of the oil that has been referred to, because the two sides could not agree on the financial of arrangements. the government of sudan in khartoum began diverting south sudan oil. yesterday, we received word that the two countries decided to step back from the brink. they looked at each other and said, "we are going in the wrong direction. the papers would put on the
table will not help the situation. we have to step back." we have to go back to the concept we all claimed we were committed to a two viable states taking care of our mutual security and economic needs. they have set a new path for that would include another summit meeting with president bashir coming to juba. it would set a new tone for the negotiations. it would set out a new timetable for dealing with the issues of oil, abyei, and the others. while we take a great deal of hope from this, a lot can depend on what happens in the next several weeks. i want to salute the african union, led by the presidents, who inspired the two to take a different approach. i want to congratulate the
parties for stepping back from the brink of what was a deteriorating and dangerous situation and began to look again at how each of them has been trying to destabilize the other and each of them are heard in the process. senator, i would also like to turn briefly to the situation in south sudan that has been raised here. time does not permit me to go into much detail. as you mentioned, there are a lot of challenges in south sudan. while they have made a lot of progress in setting up the government, it's an extraordinarily poor country with very poor infrastructure. there are deep fissures within the society, as was revealed in the crisis, which nancy will talk about further. and the loss of oil revenue only aggravate this problem by depriving the government of badly needed resources.
we have to look very carefully and work very closely with south sudan and with sudan to resolve the oil crisis and to help the government deal with those problems. in darfur, in sudan, as you mentioned, mr. chairman, there's a little bit of progress, but a long way to go. as long as there are 1.7 million people still in camps and another 280,000 in refugee camps across the border, we cannot say we come far from the situation of a few years ago. wholesale violence is down, but there is still a great deal of insecurity. the government signed a peace agreement with just one of the rebel movements. we recognize the limitations of that agreement. on the other hand, it contains a lot of the elements that led to the conflict in the first place. we will see if the government and its partner will actually implement some of these
programs. we have talked to the movements that did not sign the agreement. several of the armed movements have refused to do so. they did say that if any benefits come from these agreements for their people, they would be happy to see it. their focus is elsewhere right now. just another comment about the situation in sudan itself. in sudan, they are also facing an economic crisis. a loss of oil revenue has taken away 70% of their revenue. food prices are rising. foreign exchange is very short. they are fighting on three fronts. southern kordofan, blue nile, and still somewhat in darfur. as we have said previously on many occasions, the fundamental challenge in sudan is the governance of the country. there is still a system where the center dominates the peripheral, where there's a deprivation of human rights, where wars are fought with
terrible violation of people's rights and protections. until that changes, until there is a new political situation in sudan that is inclusive, that is democratic, that brings all the people of the country to gather, they will not come out of the problems they have. they will not resolve their differences, not only with the united states, but with many other countries of the world. that is the task that all the people in sudan have to turn to. that is true of the people who are fighting. the sudan revolutionary front, which is taken arms up against the government -- they, too, have to protecting image of what they want sudan to look like, what they want. until that happens, sudan will be in difficulty. we urge them to rise to this challenge, as well.
mr. chairman, i'm happy to answer questions on these and other matters. i hope this gives you a general picture of where we have been working. thank you. >> very helpful. administrator lindborg. >> thank you. i would echo -- the passing of donald payne. the donald payne fellowship was just launched. we are ordered to help foster his legacy. as you noted, only eight months ago, we celebrated the peaceful separation of south sudan from sudan. despite the positive momentum, these two nations, as we knew at the time, faced considerable
challenges. a legacy of 50 years of conflict, a set of unresolved issues, the stresses of severe under development in south sudan, which ranks as one of the poorest countries on the earth. while there has been progress, we are deeply concerned that the conflicts in the region are creating grave new humanitarian crisis. we're focused on the challenges and solutions in southern kordofan and blue nile and abyei. the challenges of sorting out nationality and status after one country becomes two and the not yet resolved eight-year
crisis in darfur. i written testimony has details on each of these flash point, as well as some of the challenges resulting from the oil revenue shortfall and austerity measures. for today, in the interest of time, let me focus on two critical issues. the two areas and the rising conflict in south sudan. i would be happy to answer any questions. in the two areas, heavy fighting between the sudan arms forces and the splm has resulted in 130,000 refugees. in south kordofan, another 60,000 in blue nile. we've seen heavy aerial bombardment and long-range shelling that has terrorized communities and cut off people's access to food, health care, livelihood, trade. the last planting season was
disrupted. international humanitarian access has been largely blocked since the beginning of this conflict. the government of sudan continues to prohibit aid from many people in need. providentinuing to assistance to the government of sudan-controlled areas in south kordofan and there is some progress reported there. in the areas controlled by the splm north, the outlook is worsening. current predictions are that up to 250,000 people in those areas now face a serious emergency, which is one step short of famine by the end of april if the violence and the
restrictions on humanitarian access continues. it is imperative to have immediate humanitarian access to all the communities affected in south kordofan to stave off an emergency situation for a quarter of a million people in the coming months. blue nile is facing equally devastating impacts. as ambassador lyman said, we are very hopeful the government of sudan will sign the agreement and allow negotiated access, as proposed by the u.n. and its partners. if necessary, we will examine ways to provide indirect support to ensure the most vulnerable received assistance. if the government of sudan
signs, we stand ready to immediately deliver food and humanitarian assistance to those in need. let me briefly highlight the explosion of violence that occurred recently in jonglei in south sudan. these incidents really underscores the fragility and fledgling nation of the new state. we were able to respond with emergency assistance in jonglei state. we're standing ready to provide assistance to those across the south. resolving these issues aand conflicts in the long term will require sustained engagement by the government of south sudan. without their pledge, donor help will not be sufficient to
achieve stability. coming so soon after the celebration from south sudan, this confluence of crises is very alarming to us. there has been progress. just to note, with u.s. assistance and the commitment of many of you on this committee, we have been able to help transform the government of south sudan from a concept to a government. more than 1 million people now have access to clean water. childrens enrollment in schools is up from 20% to 68%. these are accomplishments to celebrate. the referendum on south's determination was a success and of itself. we're seeing how long it takes to emerge from half a century of conflict. with even a sturdy peace
agreement, the perniciousness that that will continue as we look at what will be a long- term effort. thank you for the focus of this committee for your continued intense attention. it is needed. this will be a long journey. we must stay engaged to enable success for these two nations. thank you. >> thank you very much, madam administrator. let me begin, if i may, by asking you, ambassador, first of all -- do you have a date or do know when this visit of bashir to juba will take place? >> we're hoping it will be two weeks. we were hoping juba would issue an invitation to president bashir. they do want to do a lot of preparations so the summit has concrete results. they will have to do a lot of work. they will also do shuttle diplomacy during these two weeks. we are hoping it will take
place in about two weeks. >> at this point, do you know what the agenda will be, the specific topics of discussion? >> the idea is to ratify two agreements that were signed. one i was very happy to see signed and that is on the nationality question. that is, the protection of southerners living in the north and northerners living in the south, that they do not become stateless. procedures were set up and agreed to. they signed an agreement on borders and how to deal with that problem. those will be ratified by the two presidents. they will recognized the needs of both sides and reach an agreement in that context. how specific those instructions will be has to be worked on.
it will deal with oil, but also how to deal with issues like orders. >> given that is a north-south issue, obviously, resolving the old thing would be a huge step. what the southern kordofan and blue nile issue be on that table? >> it will be on the table in two ways. one, because you cannot get to the atmosphere if they do not make progress in southern kordofan and blue nile. it is simply poisoning the situation. it's forcing them to clash on the borders. both have a security concern in those areas. we have to make progress before the summit to create an atmosphere. then the two have to say, we are both working to destabilize each other. how do we get out of that box? southern kordofan and blue nile is part of it.
what we're hoping is that it will lead not only to a quiet scene of the hostility, but hopefully the atmosphere the political talks can start. that would change the atmosphere. >> what more could the international community conceivably do to help convince the sudanese government that preventing a full-blown catastrophe in southern kordofan and blue nile more than it already has been, but moving to this next starvation crisis, that it's in their interest to do that? is there a strategy under way? do you have a thought on how that can be implemented? >> it has been a tremendous effort on everybody's part to do just that. the government was so angry and bitter over this with their own perceptions of how the war started that it was very hard to get through on those matters.
we have urged the african union, the chairman of the african union commission, china, the arab countries, south africa, other countries, the arab league, the african union -- everybody we could talk to -- to send that message to khartoum. >> who do you think would have the greatest impact? >> the arab countries are very important. i'm very delighted the league of arab states is joining in this. china has become very active but i was in beijing last august. our two governments agreed we would work more closely on sudan. their new envoy is now traveling in khartoum and juba. i think those countries are important, because they are important to both sides, but they have particular importance to sudan. i think another factor, quite frankly, mr. chairman, is the
realization, the growing realization in khartoum that there's not a military solution to this problem. going on with the fighting and facing a humanitarian disaster is not in their interest. i think all these efforts have contributed to that. i am hoping that we will get better news in the days ahead. >> one other quick question. when we chatted a number of months ago and i subsequently chatted with president kiir about the oil shutdown issue, one of the concerns which you raised and others did was this question of what the cost of starting up would be and what the damage might be in the process. have you assessed that? can you share with us what our knowledge is about how difficult it might be to bring that oil production back on line? >> the feeling now is that if you started production
tomorrow, by the time you got the pumps going, by the time you sent the oil through the pipeline, made the contract, sent the oil, it would be four months before the first dollar would come in. that is worrisome, because both sides are facing deep economic problems. that is the latest. >> my colleagues may follow up on that. senator lugar? >> ambassador, i just want to get some sense from you as an experienced diplomat, it's been apparent in khartoum for a long time with regard to starvation that's occurring in the south, maybe even with some of their own citizens. what makes a difference -- and in other words, they have faced for a long time the statistics we for today of tens of
thousands, hundreds of thousands of people dying in the process. the pressures of that situation have not been adequate, really, to bring about much of a change. although, you give us hope again today that some negotiations may occur. in part because they could have khartoum the revenue have -- they could have the revenue of khartoum itself, quite apart from the south. as it has been suggested, a large majority of funds from both governments come from this oil, which is now stymied, as you say, at best, for four months. when we talk about international pressures, what are the pressures that make any difference here? how can we anticipate any difference in the future, as opposed to hearings we may have this time next year and the year after? >> the immediate situation and
the fundamental situation. the arguments and i think the resistance that has come out of khartoum has been that they see the situation and the calls for international assistance as a plot to get inside sudan and eventually take these areas south. they see a repeat of the cpa -- then the international community will come in, that they will set up camps, they will set up a peacekeeping operations, and pretty soon, the government will lose control of more of its territory. i have heard that argument on many occasions. there's a deep suspicion of the motives of the international community. they see this as -- we are not going to go down that path again. we will keep our country together, even if we have to do it militarily. it has taken a lot of time and effort to say, you're looking at it in the wrong way and in a way that will hurt your own interests. to deal with this deep suspicion about motives, to have
the african union and the league of arab states joining the u.n. helps a great deal. that part of it. another part of it is this fundamental question of how they will govern the country. how do they treat areas around the periphery, if you could call it that, different ethnic groups, etc.? they have not got their guests. they have not determined how to do that in a democratic, open way. they see a challenge. they respond militarily. we've had to work against that mind-set, frankly, for a long time and with a great deal of effort. >> our dilemma, clearly, mr. ambassador, we are attempting to be of assistance a lot of places. for example, a great debate rages about our policy in egypt, which has supposedly moved into democracy.
suddenly, to pick up ambassador lyman's thoughts, we are interfering with the evolution of egypt. we have this debate over our own humanitarian efforts now, the efforts of america to be of assistance in this transition. i raise this not because we can solve this here today, but it so fundamental in what we're talking about with sudan. americans do want to help. i feel we are being stymied. there is a debate going on as to whether starvation, someone should not only be allowed or they be encouraged as another form of warfare.
this is really a fundamental foreign policy problem we are going to have to face. despite our very best attempts, we are now being rebuffed by those who say this is just interference on your part and we are not one to allow it. aree're going to start, we going to start by ourselves or starve each other. having made the pronouncement, i appreciate so much, ambassador lyman, ambassador, for your work on the ground. >> senator cardin. >> i, too, join in thanking are two witnesses. i also want to thank those on the second panel for bringing a spotlight on this issue that is
otherwise difficult. with so many issues in the world, you are helping us focus on this humanitarian disaster. you set this up with three friends in sudan, -- three fronts in sudan. we're dealing with the sudan and south sudan issues and we are dealing with darfur. as i have listened to the testimony, it reminds me of testimony eight years ago with what was happening in darfur. darfur happen under our watch, which was a failure of the civilized world to take appropriate action and the disaster against innocent people. are we going to go through the same thing and the two areas? basically talk about this for years and see thousands or
hundreds of thousands of people's lives ruined forever. it's very frustrating for all of us. is there a lesson we've learned from darfur that we can use? what mistakes did we make in darfur that we don't want to repeat again? can you help us on this? there is an emergency. i understand getting humanitarian aid in there. we talk about it and talk about it and talk about it, and people die. yournator, you've put finger on the situation. what have we learned and how we prevent them from repeating themselves? it's extremely upsetting and were some. there's a pattern in a way
government of sudan fights their wars that produces -- >> could you pull the mic down? >> i think there's an opportunity to bring this war in southern kordofan and blue nile to a close. i think it's there. i think, in part, because they cannot win a military victory. they do not want, and nobody wants, huge camps of people who have moved from their homes. the government sees this as threatening their whole internal security. it has taken a long time for them to see it differently. i cannot promise you that we will get out of this war soon. i think what we did learn from darfur is that organizing and
mobilizing the international community early on, a concerted and united pressure, until recently the u.n. security council was not united on sudan. the statement that was made recently it was a very strong united statement of all 15 members. it makes a difference. having the league of arab states, as well as the african union, makes a difference. hope that we have learned lessons. i share your frustrations. >> i just point out that until we change the way the sudanese government conducts its security issues, there's little hope that we will not see a repeat of these disasters. failure to bring the government to account for their violations of international law -- we're paying a heavy price for that.
every time we take a pass on enforcing crimes against humanity, it makes it more likely we will see a repeat of this in the future. one last question. you mentioned the impact as it related to sudan and south sudan. is the conflict in the two areas also having an impact on what's happening in darfur? >> it does in this way. the splm north, which is fighting the government in southern kordofan and blue nile, has teamed up with three of the darfur rebel groups to form this sudan revolutionary front. it has become a wider coalition of anti-government forces. they are cooperating more. what is happening with the groups in darfur -- they are focusing more on national issues and, from their point of view, regime change. it is having an effect on the
darfur situation and linking the two in the way i have described. >> i join with the chairman in thanking both of you. >> thank you. neither of us could do this job without the extraordinary focus of president obama and secretary clinton on sudan and south sudan. they follow it very closely and are heavily engaged. that makes all the difference. >> there has been strong u.s. leadership in this region for a long time. still, the humanitarian disasters continue under our watch. >> thank you, senator cardin. >> mr. chairman, i think the testimony has been outstanding. i think senator the first think -- i think the first three senators expressed this very well.
i have limited abilities, but one of my strengths is math. i can see that if we continue this, our second panel, like understand have been through a pretty harrowing experience in getting here, will have a pretty disruptive session. i'm going to pass. thank you for calling it. >> thank you very much, senator. senator menedez. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i will try to be brief. i will not pass. i do not always have the opportunity to have some of our experts here before the committee. i want to follow up senator up cardin -- up where senator cardin left off. i'm wondering what it is we can do that we are not doing,
working with our allies to create the pressures that some of the atrocities that are taking place can stop? when sudan continues to turn to other countries, china, russia, qatar, for assistance when they look at the sudanese pound appreciating more than 50% since mid 2011, that is an opportunity, and economic opportunity in which we can use that necessity to try to change behavior. i do not get the sense we are doing this. doings it that we're not that could do, particularly with our allies to change the course of events that senator cardin talked about?
>> i think the opportunity is coming up as a result of the agreement that was reached, because what it focused on, more specifically, was the recognition on the part of the negotiators from khartoum that they have a major economic problem, and the only way out of that is not just an oil agreement with the south because the south can only provide so much. and therefore, what matters, is the kind of assistance they can get from their friends in the arab world, china, etc. and what now we can do -- and i think is important that we do -- is work with those countries on the kind of support they offer to khartoum -- that is, to encourage khartoum exactly in the way you say, that you cannot have a big investment and donor program in the middle.
but also to give them encouragement if they do the right things and do make the right kinds of agreements, that the support would be there for them to deal with their major economic problems. that is what i think we have to work on a great deal more. a colleague of mine will be visiting the middle east later this month to talk with the countries in that area. i have been in close touch with the chinese government on this. and i think we can do more to bring that part of the international community together because sudan does face some very serious economic crises and there is no one way out of it. >> offering financial assistance -- to leverage the financial assistance to create a result, the crisis dispute, the resolution to the crisis? >> you know, they have some interests. some of the countries have stopped giving sudan considerable assistance. so, we have to gauge exactly how they perceive this situation. i think that is one of the tasks we have to engage in the next few weeks.
>> finally, let me ask you -- second panel, mr. clooney and mr. prendergast will talk about their satellite sentinel project, to generate a rapid response. does the state department review this as an opportunity, a model that can be used for monitoring conflicts in other parts of the world in the midst we are in several locations -- in syria, to name one? >> yes, thank you. there is a lot of focus in looking at how we can better predict and understand the possibility of coming atrocities. and there is an initiative that president obama put forth that puts a focus on identifying and whole lot of ways in which we can gather information that helps us prevent humanitarian crises, so we are very interested in this as one of the models. >> thank you.
>> i am not about to not follow the leadership of our -- i am aware of the long line that formed at 9:00 was to see -- not to see johnny isakson, but george clooney. [laughter] you have done a phenomenal job. bob corker and i have traveled to darfur, and i want to acknowledge a special envoy williamson, for the great work leading to the peace agreement. and what that, i will defer to mr. clooney. >> i heard people saying, have you seen johnny isakson? >> senator udall? >> i think i will follow the lead also of our republican colleagues and try to move as quickly as possible, if we can. let me just thank the ambassador for your testimony and leadership on this issue.
you have mentioned that president obama and secretary clinton have been actively involved and we also appreciate their assistance. with that, i will yield back. >> we have bipartisan agreement it is time to move on. thank you very much for your service. >> i think we have to schedule this around a really controversial vote. >> i would not say, all of us, just for the audience -- we have the ability to ask questions of these officials. that is why moving on makes sense. >> before we excuse you, i want to ask if there is anything that you feel you wanted to say and did not have a chance to -- or, ambassador? >> i just thank committee very much. i do not think the crowds were out there -- were out there to
see us, either. >> we are going to work with you as closely as we have. we will try to support you in any way we can. i do think that saudi arabia, qatar, china, could particularly play an increased role here and i hope over the next days we can talk about how to perhaps leverage that a little bit and see if we can't move on this. i know everybody wants to move -- just one last quick question. do you believe that the signals you are getting and this movement of yesterday, etcetera, is there any indication of a greater willingness to try to provide access to humanitarian assistance and actually get the political solution? >> nancy and i were on the phone this morning with the minister of social welfare
asking that. she has said they are meeting tomorrow. we are hoping we can get an answer as soon as tomorrow on that front. once we open the door, once we have food going in, it is going to affect the fighting going on, and you have to protect the humanitarian workers. and that, we hope, is going to create an atmosphere where political talks start to happen. we are hoping that. it has not been agreed yet but that is the direction we want to go. >> this is a tricky question but an important one -- are there indications of the south's direct support for proxy efforts in that area? >> we have -- from the government of south sudan, the fighting is very dangerous and we can see the results -- retaliation, bombing across the border. and we have had very candid
talks with them about it, and part of the reason they are going to this summit is to discuss it frankly between the two governments. so i am hoping that will be on the agenda. >> thank you very much. as appreciative as everyone has said, it is a tough task and we are really happy to have your expertise, you're still, and the commitment of both departments. wheat think the secretary and a present for their focus on it. let's try to move seamlessly, if i can. i would ask george clooney and john prendergast and john temin to come up.
[laughter] >> evidently, moving is a very interesting thing. let alone, sitting. folks, if we could ask the member of press if they would give us room to proceed? thank you very much. john, is there an order you guys have? george? go for it. thank you. again, we are really have to have you here. we know you turned up over night to get here and we look forward to book your testimony. as well, i think you have a video.
>> thank you, senators. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you. i understand how busy you are. i will try to be brief and to the of point -- and to the point. i want to set some boundaries and separate what is fact and what is fiction for us. we will start with some of the facts. the government of sudan, led by omar al bushehr -- and the defense minister, the same three men who orchestrated the atrocities in darfur have turned their bombs on the people. they are not military targets. they are innocent men, william, and children. that is a fact. three days ago when we were in the mountains, 15 bombs were dropped on a neighboring village. we got there we found children filled with shrapnel, including a nine-year old boy who had both of his hands blown off. as we travelled further north, we were greeted by hundreds of
villages carrying signs reading, stop the -- as we met with the leaders we were also met with three, 300- mm rockets fired overhead. we witnessed hundreds of people running to the hills to hide in caves. these people are not the cave people of nuba, but they actually live in farms, and are the old society in the world, but yet they are forced to hide in caves. it is a campaign of murder and fear and displacement and starvation. and that is also a fact. religion is not an issue. in the camps you will find christensen muslims fighting together -- it is ethnic in nature. the indiscriminate bombing of innocent civilians is defined as a war crime in the geneva convention. in january of last year, i was
in south sudan with senator kerry for the referendum which gave us the world's newest nation, south sudan. amid all the excitement of self-determination, we warned the world of the danger of leaving the four border regions out of the referendum talks -- darfur, south kordofan, blue nile. the government of khartoum accused us of rhetoric designed to insight and anchored the north, or anger against the north. we visited in january of 2011 and at the time this place had 120,000 inhabitants -- today, none. they are either dead or bring refugees all because they have the bad luck of being born on the border, being born in oil- rich land or being born black. that is a fact. these three men are all charged
with war crimes further actions in and now they are proving themselves to be the greatest war criminals of this century, by far. so, the average question is, why should we care, what does it have to do with us? we have our own problems -- jobs, housing, debt, and now we see our gas prices going up. as senator lugar said and as president obama said in a press conference last week. he talked about three reasons why we are paying more at the pump -- speculators, uncertainty in iran, and south sudan shutting off its oil. as you know, the south has all of its oil and the north has a pipeline and refineries. for years, the north has been taking the oil and keeping most of the profits, flying bombs and rockets and using them on darfur, the blue nile, and the nuba mountains. the south shutdown of production to stop it. overnight china lost 6% of overall oil imports, which means that have to go elsewhere, and that raises the price of oil. what happens in sudan matters
very much to us now -- economic. that is also a fact. but what can we do? we are not going to use our military. we are not likely to see a nato no-fly zone. that is probably not going to happen. so this is where we all come in. we need to do what we are best at, real diplomacy, starting with china. china has a $20 billion investment in oil infrastructure in the sudan and right now they are getting nothing for it. we need to use this opportunity to work in tandem with the chinese to solve these cross- border issues. not by using guilt, not by appealing to a humanitarian interest, but simply for good, solid, economic reasons for both of us. let's send a high-level envoy to china to work together on this. let's use the techniques we learned from chasing terrorists and find and freeze the offshore bank accounts of these war criminals. they are not buying these weapons with sudanese pounds. let us work with the international community to toughen the sanctions and a
cartoon a very lonely place. -- khartoum a very lonely place. there is a lobbyist here in d.c. paid to lobby for khartoum, let us make sure he is paid in sudanese pounds from here on. the accountability act addresses many of these subjects and we hope the senate will introduce an equally robust bill. there is a long list of things we can do that will not cost lives or much money. there are no two sides to these core issues. we cannot gives the lot -- giving the lives that, we cannot replace this young boy's hands, but we can put an end to it if we work together as a nation and an international community. and it can start here. i know this -- if we work together, all of us, we can't fail. that last part is just opinion. i thank you and i forbid the remainder of my time to senator kerry.
>> there is a trend here. john -- for better or for worse -- jonathan temin? >> chairman kerry, ranking member lugar, committee, it is an honor for me to be here today. but also express my condolences to the friends of family of congressman donald payne who was a great friend to the people of sudan. i direct this to dan program at the u.s. institute of peace who has been working on the ground in sedan for 18 years. the views i expressed are my own and not exactly those of the u.s. institute of peace, which took not a policy provisions. mr. chairman, i intend to focus my remarks on two broad issues i believe are critical to the future of these two countries -- governance and economic viability. the reemphasize that the issues already addressed the but
especially immediate humanitarian access to sudan and blue nile states should art -- be vitally important -- access to south kordofan. for decades, sudan has had one crisis to another. also, sudan's leaders have employed a model of governance that is ultimately not sustainable. this is not a coincidence. rather, this model of governance is a central cause of sedan's contina was the stability. it concentrates wealth, power, resources at the center to the detriment of poulson -- purple areas. it is exclusionary and riddled with corruption. under the current government, the model -- to impose arab islamic identity throughout sudan and a result has been a serious rebellion from peripheral areas seeking more equitable sharing of resources and resisting the imposition of identity or religion. the government has often responded to these rebellions with a brutal and this poor senate force.
-- disproportionate force. international community has worked decades with some success. but the international community continues to chase the conflicts around the periphery where really making a concerted effort for the sudanese to deform the flawed government model at the center. it is time for that approach to change. it is time for a more comprehensive strategy for addressing sudan that the challenges rather than a piecemeal approach to often adopted. this will not be easy. the government of sudan has showed little appetite for self reflection of reform but given the dire economic situation, mounting internal resistance and climbing -- climate of change, they may have little choice. one opportunity lies in the process of developing a new constitution. that process is a natural than you for dialogue by the nature of the sudanese state and how to be governed. but the process must be inclusive, four support, transport, the transparent and consensus based. the international community
should draw attention to the importance of the process and work to convince a wide array of sudanese political entities of its value. usip have been working to help sudanese civil society organizations. concerning south sudan, it should be noted this out sudanese leader should did an impressive job navigating their country toward independence. but since independence, there has been growing concern about the government of south sudan that a commitment to good governance and tackling corruption and the ability to stabilize a fledgling nation. the united states has an important role to play helping to arrest and reverse those trends before they are fully ingrained. the united states have been a friend of south sudan for years, and it should continue. but it is now time for south sudan to be held to the same basic standards of governance and transparency of any other independent nation. it while recognizing the limited capacity of the government of south sudan, the united states should be clear and articulating these standards and candid with south sudan when
those standards are not met. turning to economic issues, the shutdown -- as the shutdown of oil production continues, both countries are under considerable strain. in sudan, a key question is whether it will receive economic assistance from friendly nations. this will be the sovereign decisions of other countries but the united states should encourage any assistance provided closely linked to progress in key priorities -- such as fundamental government reform and implementation of the dole hot document for ps new darfur. in south sudan, the decision to suspend oil production had well-received by the subsidies populations of four. but one wonders how it will be viewed in six months or a year if there are substantial budget cuts. it talks of building a new oil pipeline through east africa in 18 months is exceedingly optimistic. the government of south sudan should be straightforward and candid to the population of the
implications of the continued shutdown of oil production. the silver lining is the difficult economic circumstances in both countries create leverage for the international community. both countries desperately need on-site assistance. international coordination of an economic assistance will be crucial, so it is clear for both countries that the assistance provided is contingent on certain steps each government must take. i want to again ask -- express my appreciation for the opportunity to address the committee and i look forward to any questions you may ask. >> thank you very much, mr. temin. important testimony particularly regarding the quality of accountability. and i think it is something we are going to have to think about. george, if i could ask you -- we talked earlier about your trip and what you observed. i know you brought a video, i think, from that. but can you describe and give us a sense of what you really
saw on the ground and what you see perhaps from that as the most critical, immediate first step emergency that we need to take? >> in general, what we saw was the nuban people were incredibly vulnerable. the issue the ambassador was talking about, there is a rainy season coming and there are a great many people who could starve to death. this has been done intentionally. these people usually are forming and would have planted by now. they are hiding in caves. what you see is a constant drip of fear. every single day they fly overhead. these are not particularly accurate, they are big airplanes with bombs and they just throw them out. if they were aiming for you,
that is probably the safest place you could be. but what it does is create this environment of fear. every time you hear the sound of those engines -- it takes about five minutes to get there -- and a circle. every time you hear the sound, everybody runs to the hills. it creates fear to keep them from doing anything, really, their ability to do anything. and they are there without any protection. one of the roads we went up recently was taken by the north, and the splm fought through it -- a lot of dead bodies on the side of the road. we were in one village where we heard in the missile attack. they were standing there holding signs saying stop attacking us, stop. these people every day in their lives have to deal with fear, not just the future in terms of stock -- starving to death but being killed. what we are here to do -- i am
here to talk about the dangers of these people particularly and the specifics are that the exact same people who did this in darfur are the people doing this again. and the signs, as the ambassador said, are ominously similar to what happened in darfur. that is the problem and that is what brings us pause. >> i gather you have a video. are you going to show that? i beg your pardon? i think it is important. i heard your description, and i think it would be helpful to the committee -- that is as first hand as it gets. but it is your choice. how long is it? let's do that.
we talk all the time about their responsibilities -- responsibilities. right here is ground zero for responsibility. >> he says he wants muslims to have a freedom to go to a mosque, he once christians to have the freedom to go to church and those who do not have religion, let them be free to do what they want.
>> i am glad we did show that, i am glad you brought that. i think it was an important part of the testimony, so i appreciate very, very much you bringing it before the committee. those images are obviously powerful and important. i think it underscores what has been said here today. if i could just ask you -- and go around here. you listed a number of things, george, were immediate steps. what they think of the most compelling, and for an immediate step, the united states together with the international community that we can do? >> senator, there is a popular feeling that the shutting off of oil by the south is damaging to both. and there are very good arguments before that. you could argue that if it was the united states and we were at war with canada and sending
them oil and it were buying bombs with it, we would probably stop. but the truth of the matter is, what we really need to do is, we can take this moment and engaged with china, i think, for the first time. i have gone to china and tried the version of, hey, you've got an olympics coming, maybe it would not look so good if you are supporting the attacks in darfur. it does not really work. guilting people often does not. there are economic reasons for both of us. it seems like we could use this opportunity, this window, before it gets too late, by sending a high-level envoy, and i do believe we should absolutely focus on where their money is, because they are spending a lot of it, and they are hiding a lot. even if you cannot freeze it -- transparency itself, we see how it works and other countries, during the arab spring, when you
find out how much money they actually have taken from their own people and hidden in banks, it tends to create insurgents inside. i think those of the two major steps that could be done. that is our belief. there are many others. >> senator lugar? >> george, i noted down as you gave your first testimony, the envoy to china, and banking sanctions or however we disrupt -- we are starting to start that with iran and with good reason. we had some experience in north korea -- in those cases, nuclear devices they were developing. one could argue this is equally serious for different reasons and the diplomacy with china, is, as he suggested, unfortunately not just humanitarian -- although it
ought to be mentioned. for the chinese, the oil is extremely important and they are prepared to fight for it eventually it they can't get its. so, we have somebody to talk to there. i want to endorse your idea and hoped the administration might pick up on the testimony and some of the things today. likewise, mr. temin, although, as you say, it is far fetched to think of an alternative pipeline in a short period of time, perhaps it is not a pipe dream to think about it fundamentally with regard to south sudan. this could be repeated. even if we move through one crisis. and it seems to me that in terms of our humanitarian effort, it also might be concentrated on an investment record to see really what investors are involved potentially and such an alternative. i just wanted to pick up that
suggestion as something that may be fundamental to the economics of it down the trail, and a follow-up, at least, to the temporary or immediate measures we have to take. i thank all three of you for your testimony and for these practical suggestion the policy that i think a very useful. >> senator menendez? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank all of you for your insights. where you are at, mr. clooney, in terms of seeking a practical economic leverage for a worthy result is i think is what i was trying to elicit from the previous panel. how is it that we influence the behavior of others who can influence sudan? in that respect, as someone who has -- sanctions on iran, actually believe we can in fact use leverage in a way, in this case, for a worthwhile
humanitarian purpose. and when the chinese have such an investment that is not being productive, it seems to mean to be how we work with the chinese to both get them to understand their own economic interests, if nothing else, and at the same time, look at that as the opportunity for how do we ratchet down -- you talked about the accounts. we do that quite often. i am hoping the president could look at an executive order -- it may be possible under his abilities. we would have to look under the treasury department. but i hope that we will take some of the insight that you talked about, which is how do we create the leverage to change the on the ground reality. i think when the chinese have a multi-billion dollar investment that is not being productive, when you can create economic
consequences that will move people to a different course of action after -- out of pure necessity, when they did not do it for a higher calling, those of the ways we can change the realities on the ground. as someone who has been a bit -- big advocate for sanctions for certain purposes, i think they can work. but often the united states has to lead in order to get the rest of the world to follow. i appreciate those insights and i hope our friends in the state department are listening and that we can take it into action. i certainly will be looking forward to doing that as well. >> thank you very much. i note that ambassador lyman and the administrator still here and indeed listening and they also talk to and worked closely with john pendergast and george clooney.
>> i want to thank you again for the attention you bring to this issue and the reality we have seen through the production this morning. those of us who travel to countries like this just cannot bring the attention to what that people like you can, so i thank you for that. i thank you for the suggestions you may not only here but in the back room and hopefully we will follow up on those. but again, thank you very much. it has been very moving. and for mr. princeton lyman -- prendergast, what you are here, since there has been a discussion about the satellite sentinel project, maybe you can explain to the rest of us and the others here exactly how it works and how it might be utilized in conflict areas like this? >> thank you, senator. it is a partnership between digital global, a satellite imagery company, harvard, and
the enough project -- george's idea, frankly, we wanted to try to drive attention to deterring the war crimes before they have been rather than bemoaning the fact that they do afterwards, and to create capacity -- and this is what happened over the last year. if you find, okay, you have soldiers in a particular area, you have air assets moved into position -- attack helicopters, atinovs and other things -- and we know where the areas are being targeted and we can raise the alarm bells that particular people are vulnerable and we need to have action. and if there is not action taken, then the attacks do happen, at least we have the visual evidence, at an empirical evidence, to present to the international criminal court and others for hopeful
prosecution in the future. >> i know the first panel acknowledged this is a useful tool. are there ongoing discussions between you and the state department and other agencies and our government to utilize this more fully? >> it is very important to say as a footnote to the testimony, the at the station's policy and strategy is the right one. we support very strongly ambassador lyman as a special envoy and think he is doing an extraordinary job. we are in touch of the time. and by the way, a very bipartisan strategy and it has been through the last three administrations on sudan. and of course, congressman payne was one of the incubators of this bipartisan effort, so we wanted to note him as well. but i think there are a few opportunities right now, to put a fine point on what this moment does present, with the cut off of the oil is president
obama and president hu will meet soon. this is a chance to put the issue high on the radar screen of the two leaders to talk about how specifically the united states and china can forge this kind of partnership we are talking about. ambassador lyman and others are already having conversations. i think having a high level, real strong endorsement of the need to deepen the partnership will be really helpful. and also -- and you are going very soon, senator kerry, to qatar to talk to the emir. a lot of these guys are billing these guys out. it is easy for them to be in transit if they are getting soft loans that they will never be back -- it is easy for them to be intransigent. for president obama to say this is not the right time, hold it, and use it for leverage for a comprehensive deal to address
all of these problems. and finally to on the unilateral level the united states has, we have plenty of sanctions. it as many know, we are not enforcing them. so getting the treasury department, the office of foreign asset control, the capacity to enforce, having a couple of people on the staff full time chasing the assets. as george said, even if we can freeze them work in another country to freeze them, by exposing them -- what was the root of the explosion of popular sentiment during the arab spring in the middle east and north africa? the popular resentment against corruption. all of these guys packing the oil well in private accounts, these international companies they are investing, let us find the money and exposing them. it would put them in deeper hot water. it is their own people who at the end of the day will solve the problem. >> mr. clooney, mr. prendergast, and mr. temin, thank you very
much. >> thank you much. senator cardin, three votes started. we have about 15 minutes. then i will limit myself to two and a half minutes -- >> i will limit myself to two and a half minutes. let me underscore the point on sanctions. they are important if they can be reinforced internationally. the united states has to show leaders sit -- leadership -- not only enforce the sanctions but use it as a high priority with their diplomacy. but you are right on the asset issue. the united states can have a major impact because these world leaders are hiding their money. and they come across u.s. banks. so, we can have an effective remedy here. some of us have joined together what is known as the -- bill, over human rights in russia.
we think it would be a great way to bring them to justice. bashar was arrested as a war criminal. he is a known abuser of human rights and has violated international standards. the defense minister, an arrest warrant was issued last month for his arrest. so, these are criminals. i think we are on very high authority to impose the type of financial sanctions which could have a major impact. the government should not be afforded the legitimacy of the international community when their leaders are scheduled to be at the hague to stand up for the crimes they have committed. so, i just really wanted to urge us to keep focused. we cannot allow under our watch
another darfur humanitarian crisis to emerge in the same region of the world. feeldon't want you to watch -- rushed. senator coons has gone, i will go and quickly vote and come back. >> well then, would you like to respond to what i said? >> i think your message, mr. clooney, about the importance of international respect for sanctions and the nine banking, the individual is makes the decision. we can deny bashar the opportunity to hide his wealth. it would have a major impact. >> i think it would, senator. the secret to this is just tightening this noose around khartoum, around the people
charged with war crimes. they should not be allowed to have a ton of money stuffed in a malaysian bank, which is what is going on. we need to be able to track it down and find it. they are also using the money to buy weapons to hurt innocent people. it is a cowardly act, what we saw over there. these were not acts of war, they were war crimes, and they are funding it. and they are not funding it simply with sudanese pounds. so i think chasing the money is a very big issue, not just to stop the actual act themselves but to put pressure on them internally. omar al bashir in his home has five tanks surrounding him pointed out word. that is not a very secure leader, quite honestly.
we feel as if the more you expose his corruption, more inclined to people in khartoum would be to perhaps have someone else lead the country. pointednator lugar ♪ out, the transparency bill to require these companies to disclose their contract so we can try to track the money. we know the sudanese government has received a lot of income from oil wealth over the years, and we know a good part of that has been diverted, not going to the people. so, tracking that money, tracking that wealth, would have a major impact on the comfort of their leaders. and it is something the united states can do. it does not require a lot of countries to work with. we are a major banking center of the world. if we of london going along with us -- we can do a lot without
worrying about china or wearing about russia. who at times and not always follow our lead on the human- rights front. >> senator issakson? >> when i went to darfur -- there was a gender-based violence against women, rape. is that going on as well? >> it was a very big issue, still. in the same patterns we sell in darfur. we saw it last year. we saw it used an employed again here in the nuba mountains in south kordofan. you may have more? >> only to say it is still happening in darfur. there are still mass atrocities being committed against civilian populations. when we talk about a holistic when we talk about a holistic solution in the sudan, we need